Taking action to support people with a learning disability and dementia

28 September 2017

Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) launched its new campaign ‘From Seldom Heard to Seen and Heard’ last week at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The launch was based on the findings of Roundtable events held in June, which discussed three seldom heard groups: people with a learning disability, the LGBT+ community, and prisoners but many other ‘Seldom Heard’ communities were represented such as BAME, South Asian and Gypsies and Travellers.

The campaign has uncovered the barriers faced by seldom heard groups when accessing good health and social care, which at times fails to meet their needs. Challenges include lack of awareness and cultural understanding across health and social care settings.

We were pleased to contribute to the learning disability roundtable in June, and further pleased to have one of our Registered Managers, Sarah Lancaster, on the discussion panel at the event last week.

In particular, the following recommendations were made to support people with a learning disability and dementia, which we fully support in line with our aims of the MacIntyre Dementia Project:

Importance of an early diagnosis and person centred care

When changes are noticed, they need to be acted upon quickly and a timely and accurate differential diagnosis should be received

Joined up working

To involve people with a learning disability and dementia and their carers throughout the whole process, and to promote joint working between health and social care professionals

Awareness and support of people outside of the current system who are isolated

People who have a learning disability but haven’t accessed and aren’t accessing services


The need to improve access to person centred commissioning

Living in their homes for as long as possible

Support needs to be funded to maintain people in their own homes, which would be a more appropriate care setting

The DAA is asking organisations to sign up to a pledge and to take actions to support people with a learning disability and dementia.