People with learning disabilities - who are five times more likely than the general population to develop dementia - do not always have access to appropriate health and social care services, a new report has warned today.
A partnership of voluntary sector organisations have launched a new report calling for the early diagnosis of dementia in people with learning disabilities.
It also calls for improvements in policy and research in relation to people with learning disabilities and dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society chief executive, Jeremy Hughes, said: ‘We know that a timely diagnosis is essential for anyone who has dementia. For people with a learning disability, who are at higher risk of developing dementia at a much younger age, there is an even greater need and services have a responsibility to develop their knowledge and awareness of dementia to ensure they can recognise it, diagnose it and put in place the support and services that people with learning disabilities and their families have a right to expect in order to help them live well.’
Executive director of the National Care Forum, Vic Rayner, added: ‘It is critical that we broaden our understanding of how dementia affects people with learning disabilities, and this report provides valuable insight into the importance of existing and future research in this area.
'In addition, it provides a vital contribution to helping understand how delivery can be developed to offer more appropriate and effective support.’
The partnership of organisations include VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group), Alzheimer’s Society, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, MacIntyre and the National Care Forum (NCF).