chapter  16
14 Pages

The intersectionality of intellectual disability and ageing

WithKaren Watchman

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The intersection between age and intellectual disability is under-explored despite increased longevity among this population. People with Down’s syndrome make up between 15% and 20% of the population of people with learning disabilities. This population is at high risk of developing a number of age-related health problems prematurely, including dementia, typically Alzheimer’s disease. This additional complexity of early onset dementia among some people with Down’s syndrome further highlights the schism between ageing and intellectual disability services. Using Fraser’s social justice framework as the overarching lens, it is possible to demonstrate how working in silos is preventing a cohesive approach to supporting people ageing with an intellectual disability. This highlights the need to reframe services to improve health and social care resources for older people through increasing their recognition among intellectual disability services and ageing services and dementia services. Simultaneously, recognition is required of the intersection of ageing and intellectual disability, and between dementia and intellectual disability. The voice and lived experiences of the older person with intellectual disabilities needs to be much better represented in order to inform and shape support and services.