On 19 September our Services Development Manager, Julian Hallett, attended a very interesting conference in London hosted by The Dementia Action Alliance.
The Alliance is a network of organisations, partly funded by Public Health England, whose aim is to connect, share best practice and take action on dementia. They currently have a focus on improving outcomes for people living with dementia and their carers who come from seldom heard groups, including those with learning disabilities.
We are now a member of the Alliance and we know that increased vigilance to recognise any changes in an adult with Down’s syndrome’s functioning is particularly important, given the increased risk of developing dementia. We are working with the Alliance and Public Health England to make sure that the needs of adults with Down’s syndrome who are ageing are better understood.
We are currently in the process of refreshing a number of resources that focus on ageing including our Health Series publications on ageing, Alzheimer’s, bereavement and depression and mental health. We are hoping to make these available in Spring 2018.
We have developed a one day training workshop on ‘Down’s Syndrome, Ageing and Dementia’ and regularly deliver the workshop for service providers across the UK. At the end of September, Julian was in Scarborough, training 60 staff working for the Wilf Ward supported living charity.
Julian will also be meeting with researchers from The University of South Wales, including Dr Stuart Todd and representatives from other charities including The Alzheimer’s Society, to see how we can work together to better understand the needs of older people with Down’s syndrome and best support them and their family-carers.
The photograph shows Julian with representatives from Mencap and The Foundation for People with a Learning Disability, all signing up to pledge their support for the Dementia Alliance campaign aims.