Christine Towers

Supporting People with Intellectual Disabilities to Have a Good Life as They Grow Older: A training pack

Training pack

These new resources address a significant gap in the knowledge and practice of supporting people with learning disabilities as they grow older.



Growing older is a process with numerous gradual or sudden changes over time. For staff supporting people with intellectual disabilities, it may be difficult to recognise these changes or know how best to meet their changing needs. People with intellectual disabilities often age biologically at a younger chronological age than the general population, and many will have very different life experiences of getting older, for example having missed out on work, having a family and developing long-term relationships. These factors can adversely affect self-esteem as well as sources of financial and social support to fall back on as they grow older.

These new resources address a significant gap in the knowledge and practice of supporting people with learning disabilities as they grow older. Both aim to help staff and others to improve their understanding of how growing older may affect individuals, and ways of providing good support to people with learning disabilities so that they can:

  • age well through staying healthy, keeping friendships and connections and adapting their lifestyle as necessary;
  • cope with challenges and difficulties they may face, particularly as they become frailer and lose some independence.

Through knowledge content, exercises, key learning points and video clips of older people with learning disabilities talking about their experiences of growing older, the materials will help support staff to explore how planning for and providing good support can make a positive difference to individuals’ lives in the key areas of:

  • Emotional well-being
  • Health
  • Being active and involved
  • Home life
  • Dying well

Throughout the learning process, the themes of person-centred planning, good communication, and building confidence and encouraging independence are central to the development of good support.

The training pack provides the resources needed to deliver training on growing older and comes with guidance on running each session, together with online exercise sheets and handouts, presentation slides, video clips and other resources. The self-study guide (also included in the training pack) can be purchased separately and contains a self-study route with access to the video clips online.



ISBN:  9781912755608

Publication Date: End of January 2020


Christine Towers has over 35 years’ experience of working with people with learning disabilities and their families. During this time, she has worked in the not-for-profit sector as well as health and social care services with a focus on the development and management of services. Christine has also been involved in a number of research projects. Central to her work has been developing ideas alongside people with learning disabilities and their families, partnership working and person-centred approaches. She has been a member of the National Valuing Families Forum for over ten years.

She worked at the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities for 10 years where her particular areas of interest were planning with families, improving the quality of support, older people with learning disabilities and the development of social and community networks.

Christine set up Together Matters as she believes that talking, planning and working together help people to find new approaches to overcome hurdles and can lead to people with learning disabilities getting good lives.

Christine will be speaking about “Supporting People to Have a Good Life as They Grow Older” at Learning Disability Today London 2019.


Staff and others supporting adults with learning disabilities (intellectual disabilities) as they grow older in all settings, including those in the social care, supported living, health and related sectors. Of particular interest to managers and support staff in residential and supported living settings, learning disability nurses, occupational therapists.


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