Background: This study explored the personal experiences of family carers and residential care staff in supporting adults with intellectual disabilities through the process of bereavement.
Method: A semi-structured interview was used to interview 11 carers on their experience of supporting adults with intellectual disabilities through the process of bereavement. The transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA).
Results: A total of five superordinate themes were identified: (i) Factors making the experience difficult for carers, (ii) Factors that helped carers, (iii) Carers' perspectives on the responses of people with intellectual disabilities, (iv) Approaches to supporting people with intellectual disabilities and (v) Carers' perspectives on support.
Conclusions: Supporting people with intellectual disabilities through bereavement is an emotionally demanding task for carers. The support needs of carers need to be acknowledged and addressed in order to ensure that adequate support is available to people with intellectual disabilities following bereavement.