Friday 14 December 2018

Disabled suffer ill-health and isolation

(stock picture)
(stock picture)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Older people with an intellectual disability are suffering from poorly managed chronic disease and social isolation, according to a new report.

Although they have good access to GPs and are more likely to go for health screening, these gains are offset by serious complications, including a high risk of dementia among those with Down syndrome.

More than one-in-four has no teeth, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing by Trinity College revealed.

Some 67.8pc with total tooth loss did not receive prosthetic dentures. This compares to only 5.3pc of the general population.

Chronic constipation is an issue, leaving this vulnerable group at increasing risk for pain, delirium, high levels of laxative use, and even death.

Nearly half of those with Down syndrome have never had any dementia assessment. This is of significant concern, as the mean age of onset of dementia for people with Down syndrome is just 52 years of age.

Increased numbers of older people with an intellectual disability are living farther away from family, leading to social isolation.

Irish Independent

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