Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ageing Well - a UK Learning Disability Week project

This week is Learning Disability Week in the UK (where 'learning disability' is the commonly used term equivalent to 'intellectual disability').

The British Institute of Learning Disabilities is marking the week with a series of five emailed newsletters ' focusing on promoting a better understanding of the lives and needs of older people with a learning disability.

The first issue is introduced with a brief explanation of the aim of the project:
We decided to focus on this topic as delegates at a recent seminar told us that there needed to be more done to promote the issues relating to good support for older people with a learning disability. So we're starting now!
Issue 1, Understanding the lives and needs of older people with a learning disability - what do older people say?
Today we focus on what older people are telling us about what is important to them and we're also looking at some of the background information about support for older people with learning disability.
Issue 2, Understanding the lives and needs of older families and family carers
... Many older family carers worry that their son or daughter is living a prematurely ‘old’ lifestyle because they share the social networks of their parents. As family carers grow older, and sometimes frailer, their social and support networks shrink exposing them to the risk of growing isolation (Magrill 2007) ...
Issue 3, The challenge for providers in planning and delivering good support for older people with learning disabilities
... There was a realisation by some staff that they perhaps don’t record all of the information they know about people’s lives, history, what’s important to them, what makes a good and a bad day, so that if they weren’t there someone else would at least know what was important to the person, important routines etc ...
Issue 4, Delivering good health, wellbeing and dementia support for older people with learning disabilities
... People with learning disabilities share many of the same age related physical and psychological changes as other older people. People with learning disabilities are, however, 2.5 times more likely to have health problems than other people but are often poorly served and discriminated by health services (Department of Health 2001; Emerson and Baines 2010; Mencap 2012) ...
Issue 5, Delivering good support for older people with learning disabilities - what next?
We've been delighted by the many responses we've received to this year's learning disability week work around ageing and people with learning disabilities. The responses on Twitter, Facebook and by email have made clear that raising these issues have struck a chord, both for individuals and organisations ...
Of course, similar issues arise for older people and their families here too, and this series is a useful introduction to BILD's existing resources designed to support older people.   Scroll to the bottom of each issue for links to subscribe, and/or follow BILD on Facebook.

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