Simplyhealth’s grant enables DSA to reach out to people with Down’s Syndrome with Dementia

Simplyhealth’s support for the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) has continued with a grant of over £17,000 for the charity’s Dementia project, enabling the DSA to reach out to more people with Down’s syndrome who have dementia.

The grant will enable the DSA to build on their work for people with Down’s syndrome and dementia by producing a new Dementia Workbook, with an event to launch the resource and training sessions on the condition for social care and health professionals.

Adults with Down’s syndrome are leading longer, more healthy, fulfilling and varied lives. Today the average life expectancy for a person with Down’s syndrome is 60 years of age. Unfortunately, around fifty percent of 50 year olds with Down’s syndrome will also have developed dementia. Appropriate diagnosis and post diagnostic support therefore needs to be in place.

As the presentation of dementia amongst adults with Down’s syndrome is often different, with many of these people presenting behavioural changes rather than memory loss initially, people with Down’s syndrome are less likely to receive a timely diagnosis.

In tandem, people with Down’s syndrome often struggle to access appropriate support when they develop dementia, which is why early recognition and diagnosis is crucial.  The grant will enable a comprehensive Dementia Workbook to be produced for social care and health professionals, online and printed.  The book will guide professionals supporting a person with Down’s syndrome, who is developing dementia, through all relevant stages of the condition and give practical advice on how best to support the person and their family.

The Dementia Workbook will be launched to social care and health professionals who have contact with supporting older people with Down’s syndrome at an event at the DSA’s offices in Teddington.  Training days will also be held to highlight the Dementia Workbook and cover the stages of dementia, practical strategies and good practice models.

Simplyhealth has supported the DSA for six years with grants for the ground-breaking health book for people with Down’s syndrome and DSActive.  Carol Boys, Chief Executive of the DSA commented, Over the years Simplyhealth’s support has enabled the DSA to run a series of projects which have had a transformational effect on the health and well-being of people with Down’s syndrome.  The grant for the Dementia project will enable us to build on our work in this crucial area allowing us to help more people with Down’s syndrome affected by dementia.”

Roger Cotton, Head of Charitable Giving, Simplyhealth says: “Having supported the Down’s Syndrome Association over a number of years with a variety of projects, we’re delighted to fund this latest initiative. We’ve seen the value of DSA’s many resources to support the everyday health of  people with Down’s syndrome. We know this workbook will be well received and of special use to social care and health professionals to guide them when supporting a person with Down’s syndrome who is developing dementia and their family as well.”