Aging with a Developmental Disability

Aging With A Developmental DisabilityIndividuals with developmental disabilities are living longer. By 2021, the number of seniors (65+) with developmental disabilities in Ontario will almost double.

Developmental services, community senior services and long term care services need to work together to prepare for the challenge of providing support. While individuals aging with a developmental disability may have many similarities to the general public they also have some unique differences.

A recent Ontario Study has shown that people with developmental disabilities have a similar frailty level at the age of 50 to those in the general public at the age of 80. Currently 50% of the individuals supported by Reena are over the age of 50.

Register for our Aging with a Developmental Disability Training to learn more.

Current Reena Services

Individuals with developmental disabilities are aging and some require special environments. Reena has responded to this challenge with three senior home locations across the Greater Toronto Area. These homes provide a safe and comfortable space with large common areas for meaningful activities geared toward engaging the individual. There are specialized lifts and transfers for hygiene support, full wheelchair accessibility, assistance with meal preparation and special diets, as well as, high staffing ratios. Two of the homes even have state-of-the-art security systems.

Reena also offers respite for families in need of support during the day (not overnight). Residential day programs are offered in Reena Senior Homes with a staffing compliment. Families may choose to utilize Passport Funding or Fee-For-Service for this option.

We also run a day program at the Schwartz Riesman Center. The full-day Older Adult Day Program is designed for seniors with complex care needs, such as, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Participants engage in exercise, meaningful activities, swim programs and outings. The program runs Monday through Friday from 9am – 3pm.

All residential placements are run through Developmental Services Ontario Contact Us to learn more about respite for families Is there a program or service not listed that you would like to see? Share it with us

Our Leadership

Reena is the lead agency for the Ontario Partnership on Aging & Developmental Disabilities (OPADD), which brings together two sectors (developmental disability and seniors). We have proactively pursued a number of community development strategies to promote and sustain cross-sector dialogue. These efforts have resulted in the implementation of several significant provincial activities including: trainings, knowledge sharing networks, regional workshops and improved access to services.

In addition to our three senior home locations, Reena has also created partnerships with long term care homes in Toronto and York Region including Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Cummer Lodge. We are dedicated to helping people age-in-place for as long as possible. For many this may mean that they will never need to leave their current home. When individuals do need to move, due to health and safety concerns, we are committed to good planning and transitioning. We believe in continuity-of-care and remain in the lives of individuals once they move.

We are also involved in increasing the knowledge and awareness of promising practises and best evidence on dementia care for individuals with developmental disabilities. We have worked with researchers to implement an Early Detection Screen for Dementia.

Reena is also a knowledge partner and funder of the TVN Frailty Knowledge Synthesis Study. The overall goal is to improve community care and clinical outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities that are frail by providing a tool to measure frailty. The tool will assist with proper planning to make sure people get the right supports at the right time.

Our Learning and Development Department, in partnership with The Alzheimer’s Society of York Region, offers a customized training course on Aging with a Developmental Disability. The course can be, offered at and tailored to, meet the unique needs of each workplace or educational facility. To register for this training click here.