The master's thesis explores how adults with moderate intellectual disabilities evaluate their quality of life. The quality of life is a multidimensional phenomenon, which covers eight different areas, and each person assesses their significance and importance differently. How people with moderate intellectual disabilities evaluate their quality of life also depends on where they live. Today, there are quite a few different forms of living organized for people with intellectual disabilities on a state level. Some promote a high degree of autonomy and independence, and keep track of the processes of deinstitutionalization and normalization of the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Other forms of living are still lagging behind, but they nevertheless try to maintain a good quality of life. In my master's thesis, I focused on comparing the quality of life of people with moderate intellectual disabilities in relation to three forms of living: the social care institution, the group home and living at home with their own family.
There is a large number of people in social care institutions. The degree of normalization is small there and they are often located on the outskirts of towns. Nevertheless, such institutions offer many services and activities where residents can make use of their time. Group homes consist of a smaller number of people in houses or apartments. They are usually located on the inside of towns. Some people with moderate intellectual disabilities, even in adulthood, live at home with their family, which can have positive (feeling of acceptance, safety) as well as negative effects (excessive protection, lack of independence).
The study included 90 people with moderate intellectual disabilities aged between 25 and 64 years. I distinguished them according to their place of residence: 30 of them were living in social care institutions, 30 of them in group homes and 30 of them at home with their own family. Regarding the place of residence, I compared how people experience their quality of life in four areas: overall satisfaction with life, adopted knowledge and competences and productivity assessment, degree of independence and social inclusion assessment. I have found that statistically significant differences between places of residence occur in all areas. The results of the survey showed that persons living in a group home or at home rated the general satisfaction with life and autonomy significantly better than those living in a social care institution, while there was no significant difference between living in a group home or at home. In the areas of productivity, acquired knowledge and competences and social inclusion it has turned out, that people living in a group home have shown significantly better quality of life than those who live at home or in a social care institution. Similarly, in the areas of productivity, acquired knowledge and competences and social inclusion, statistically significant differences occur between those living in a social care institution and those staying at home – they have reported of a more satisfactory quality of life.
My aim was to determine the difference in the perception of quality of life in the four areas mentioned above. Based on the results of the research my intention was to present some guidelines that would give some ideas, advice or suggestions to parents, employees and all those who are involved in dealing with people with moderate intellectual disabilities on how we can further improve their quality of life on the researched areas.