This has led to an increased number of people with learning disability (LD) and aging-related health problems such as dementia, which has resulted in changes in social and service delivery needs. Service needs for this population are further increased because of continued deinstitutionalization of people with LD, resulting in increased community presence of people with high physical and mental morbidities.
Certain subgroups of people with LD have specific increased age-related risks, such as those with Down syndrome, who have genetically based increased risk for dementia (Janicki et al., 1999). Others , such as, those with Cerebral Palsy have been noted to have a high risk of physical aging related deterioration, particularly relating to mobility (Strauss et. al., 2004), sometimes starting in young adulthood. (Jahnsen, 2004)
The existing demographic pattern of increased longevity in people with LD points to a continued future increase in the proportion of older adults with LD, but does not adequately address the more significant changes in the prevalence of associated physical, mental and behavioral problems, as well as functional deficits in these cohorts, which will have an impact on their need for support. Even in currently older adults with LD there is a dearth of broad, linked data that would be helpful to planners, but more problematically, these cohorts may not be good models for the future extrapolation. Current older adults have lived vastly different lives than cohorts who will be the older adults of tomorrow, and these differences will very likely have a profound effect on all aspects of intellectual, emotional, medical and functional outcomes in late life. Extrapolating care requirements for older adults with LD from older adults without LD is not appropriate, as those with LD have had more restricted life experiences, with reduced functional independence and coping skills, generally have no adult children to assist in late life functioning. (Jenkins, 2005)
Services for Older People with Learning Disabilities in UK
In recent years some remarkable changes have been noticed not only in the lifestyle of people with LD but also in the services provided to them. Rehabilitation of a number of such people back into the society has resulted into the closure of several LD institutions and hospitals, whereas in past it is evident through studies the such treatment periods used to be unknown and at times ended up with the death of patients. Such a policy change is actually a result of a publication "An Ordinary Life" (King's Fund 1980). This publication motivated the masses about the merits of spending life at home within the community in comparison with an isolated hospital or nursing home. This viewpoint of f normalization was later embraced by most of the supporting bodies function with older people with LD and normal community life was considered as more helpful for the rehabilitation of such a group (Wolfensberger 1972). Dagnan et al. (1998)