Older Women with Intellectual Disability and the Meaning of Aging

Niry David, Ilana Duvdevani, Israel Doron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aging with intellectual disability has become an important topic in light of the significant increase in life expectancy of this population. More specifically, the combination of gender, age, and intellectual disability raises unique social issues. The aim of this research was to capture and analyze the aging experience of women with intellectual disability from their own voice and viewpoint within the Israeli experience. A phenomenological qualitative method was used in this study. In-depth interviews were conducted with 19 women with mild-to-moderate intellectual disability. Four key themes arose from the interviews: (a) the importance of work and reluctance to retire, (b) ageism and the fear of getting old, (c) the importance of a significant partner in old age, and (d) today’s positive self-perception. A meaningful aging process can be constructed within the context of gender and disability. It was manifested in this study as a disability-neutral experience. However, ageism and negative attitudes toward old age still need to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-236
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Women and Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© , Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • ageism
  • disability
  • feminism
  • intellectual disability
  • older women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gender Studies


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