As those with Down Syndrome age, so do their parents. There is a phenomena where those with Down Syndrome age rapidly in their “middle age” years. Often, they are aging at the same time as their senior parents. An elderly parent may or may not outlive their child with Down Syndrome. If they outlive their child with Down Syndrome, they may face an enormous loss, because they have never experienced an “empty nest”. Their child may have lived at home for up to 60 plus years.
If a child with Down Syndrome outlives both parents, he or she will have to transition into a new home and routine; being cared for by a sibling or a group home. After being in the same environment for so many years and having a routine they are incredibly used to (along with the grief of loosing a parent), is it easy to understand how there can be tremendous anxiety, sadness and stress. This was a very interesting article.