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Older people with learning disabilities 

Older people with learning disabilities
Older people with learning disabilities

Maria Luisa Hanney

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date: 16 September 2021

Elderly people with Learning Disabilities are a heterogeneous clinically complex population with unique medical and social challenges. Little is known of the epidemiology of mental ill health in this group. Emerging evidence indicates that they suffer higher rates of mental illness than the general population and than their younger peer group. Point prevalence of mental ill health in elderly people with Learning Disabilities has been reported about 69% compared with 48% in the younger peer group. This higher rate of psychiatric diagnosis in the older group is mainly due to a higher rate of dementia of about 21 %. People with Down syndrome appear to have lower rates of mental ill health apart from depression and early onset dementia of Alzheimer’s type. People with Learning Disability due to other causes are also at higher risk of developing dementia at an earlier age than the general population

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