Canterbury Oast Trust

Services for people with Learning Disabilities and Age Related Illness.

Over the next two years we plan to broaden our care provision in response to the urgent need for services specifically for people with learning disabilities and illnesses such as dementia – for which there is virtually no provision focused on this specific care need within our region.

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Advances in medical and social care have led to a significant increase in the life expectancy of people with learning disabilities. The effect of ageing, including the risk of developing dementia has, therefore, become increasingly important in recent years. For example, today, the average life expectancy of a person with Down's syndrome is now between 50 and 65 and it’s estimated that 50% over the age of 50 will develop dementia; this is a far younger age than in the general population. Lack of understanding can lead to the distressing symptoms of dementia in people with learning disabilities being dismissed as part of their disability. As they age, therefore, more specialised care is needed which is able to cope with their disability and clearly recognise any changes associated with dementia. The urgent need for specialised dementia care. With a number of aging service users within our care (three people have been diagnosed with dementia already) and no external appropriate provision available, our charity has undertaken a study to asses how we can best continue to support individuals’ needs. Having considered a number of options we have decided on an appropriate and cost effective project to create a new service focused on age related conditions. By adapting one of our existing properties, which, due to its current lay-out and location is ideal, we will create 6 residential places in a safe environment with knowledgeable care staff able to manage and monitor deterioration, specifically, in people with a learning disability.