New national guidance aims to help care homes in Scotland provide appropriate support for people with learning disabilities who have a diagnosis of dementia. This has been developed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Care Inspectorate, and it is believed to be the first of its kind.
Care homes for older people may be reluctant to admit people living with a learning disability and dementia, due to uncertainty as to how to meet their needs. This guidance focuses on people with a learning disability and advancing dementia who are moving to a care home because their needs have increased and can no longer be met in their own home. The guidance aims to ensure that transition to a care home is appropriate and provides the best outcomes for the individual.
Age-related dementia is more common at earlier ages in people living with a learning disability than in the rest of the population (about 13 per cent in the 60-to-65-year-old age group compared with 1 per cent in the general population). At least 30 per cent of people living with Down’s syndrome who are in their 50s may experience dementia, and 50 per cent in their 60s.