The link between dementia and Down syndrome is well documented see Alzheimers Australia. Changes in the brains of people over 40 who have Down syndrome are similar to the changes in people who have Alzheimer's Disease. However, not all elderly people with Down syndrome have clinical Alzheimer's. For this reason, it is necessary to be aware of the signs of dementia as well as doing health checks to determine other possible reasons, if some of those signs occur. The library has many resources to help understand dementia and the issues involved. Recently we have acquired a CD-ROM, 2 Young 4 Dementia, produced by Alzheimers Australia ACT on meeting the needs of people with younger onset dementia (people under 65). There is a section on people with Down syndrome, as well as other general issues relating to younger dementia patients. There are other new resources on DVD from the UK (Down's Syndrome & Dementia: Philosophy of Care, Fighting for Andrew, and Forget Me Not) some is a bit dry, but they do explain factors involved in dementia.
Other resources in the library relating to dementia are:
Mental wellness in adults with Down syndrome by Dennis McGuire & Brian Chicoine This excellent resource on emotional and behavioural health in adults (and adolescents) with Down syndrome includes a section on Alzheimer's--the symptoms, things to check, and care and activities for a person with dementia.
Down's Syndrome and Dementia Workbook for Staff (Down's Syndrome Association UK)-- a workbook with the stages and signs of dementia, various care strategies and places to record the information.
Down's syndrome and dementia resource pack for carer and support staff by Karen Dodd and Vicky Turk Information for carers focussing on practical day to day issues--how to maintain skills, understanding changes in behaviour, etc.
UK Scotland also have some booklets to download on dementia.
There are also books and a kit in the library for people with intellectual disabilities to understand dementia and what it means for their friends.
Click here to email us to borrow any of these resources from our library.