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How to Improve Quality of Life for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

In the not-so-distant past, it was fairly common for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to be placed into institutions. However, over the past 50 years, the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities has dramatically changed. A move away from institutional care, combined with better nutrition and health care, has resulted in longer, fuller lives as active participants within our communities. 

At Baddour Center, we strive to advance the quality of life for all of our clients, who we call residents, because we understand that everyone deserves to live a full and happy life. We offer many programs and activities to elevate our standard of care as well as residents’ enjoyment of their daily routines. At the core of everything we do, we aim to improve the emotional, physical, and social well-being of adults with intellectual disabilities. To do this, we focus on the five basic elements of quality of life: well-being as an adult; social status; control of life; personal safety; and social belonging. 

5 Ways to Improve Quality of Life for Adults with IDD


In a 2010 article published by the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, adults with IDD were interviewed regarding their thoughts and beliefs relative to their respective quality of life. According to the participants, overall well-being, particularly living conditions, ranked as the most important factor in their satisfaction with life. The participants expressed feeling happiest when the following criteria were adequately addressed:

  • Having a comfortable and safe space to live
  • Being employed and having daily activities
  • Being involved in a community
  • Having the opportunity to pursue education
  • Being able to participate in recreational activities

The Baddour Center addresses each of these areas through various programs and activities. By taking a holistic approach to the well-being of residents, we know that we are making a difference in their overall quality of life. 

LEARN MORE: Life at Baddour Center

Social Status

Of course, each person is going to have his or her own unique circumstances that dictate his or her level of autonomy. However, it is important for individuals with intellectual disabilities to be viewed as adults and to feel that they are contributing members of society. Having a job, earning an income, and participating in age-appropriate activities are all prerequisites for achieving this desired social status. Additionally, it is critical that adults with IDD feel on equal terms with other individuals within the community. When individuals receive this level of respect, it can greatly increase their self-confidence and emotional well-being. 

The Baddour Center understands the desire for social status and equality, which is why we offer a Vocational Services Division where clients can seek meaningful employment and training. 

LEARN MORE: Baddour Vocational Services

Control of Life

Napoleon Hill effectively encapsulates how adults with IDD prefer to navigate life: “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct, and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.” While this may not be feasible in every situation, it’s important to grant autonomy where possible. Adults with intellectual disabilities wish to self-direct as much as possible — controlling their own environmental, leisure, and cultural activities in addition to the level of assistance needed during each. 

The professionals at Baddour Center understand the need for autonomy, and we strive to find the ideal balance between independence and assistance. We work with each resident to determine their preferences and adjust our support accordingly. 

Personal Safety

For a person with intellectual disabilities, their ability to self-direct relies heavily on the level of personal safety they have. This element encompasses certain environmental factors such as having adequate medical and social services, as well as sufficient support from family and caretakers. Personal safety for persons with intellectual disabilities can look like formal or informal assistance in everyday life, feeling secure in their home, as well as choosing who has the right to enter their personal space. Though the idea of personal safety will translate differently for every person, it is generally important that adults with intellectual disabilities feel strongly supported by a network of family, friends, and/or caretakers. 

At Baddour Center, we offer residents a place to call their own. Residential options range from supervised and transitional group home living to a more independent, on-campus apartment living arrangement. Residences offer spacious bedrooms, private baths, a central living room, and kitchen, and a family environment where residents genuinely feel at home.

LEARN MORE: Living at Baddour Center

Social Belonging

Lastly, one of the most significant factors in measuring quality of life for adults with IDD is social belonging. As humans, we have the innate desire to belong to something larger than ourselves, and it’s no different for persons with intellectual disabilities. It’s important that they feel interconnected with others on a deeper level. Of course, these scenarios are wide-ranging, but generally speaking, social belonging can involve being invited to a family event, having a significant other, living together, or just participating within the community. It encompasses any level of social participation where they can be welcomed and appreciated by others. 

Through the Community Life division at The Baddour Center, residents have the opportunity to socialize with peers, participate in performing arts groups, and contribute to a team through Special Olympics.

Quality of Life at Baddour Center

Our team at the Baddour Center is committed to providing the best quality of life for all residents. Our extensive programs and services provide each individual with a sense of well-being and belonging. To learn more about how we help improve quality of life for adults with intellectual disabilities, contact us today to schedule a tour