Nurses’ views about services for older people with learning disabilities
Robert Jenkins Divisional head of learning disability, Faculty of Health, Sport and Science, University of Glamorgan
An ageing population with learning disabilities faces many difficulties. Robert Jenkins assesses whether nurses believe the three service models in operation are meeting the needs of this group
Aim To explore nurses’ views of the strengths and weaknesses of current patterns of service provision for older people with learning disabilities in relation to three service models and parent/carer needs.
Method Focus groups were held with mental health nurses, practice nurses and nurses specialising in the care of people with a learning disability, and an interview was held with a district nurse.
Findings Some services may not be prepared for this client group, nor in some cases be appropriate for it, and there appears to be little specialist provision or use made of mental health services.
Conclusion Specialist services and/or teams should be developed to address the complex needs of older people with learning disabilities, particularly those who develop dementia.
Learning Disability Practice.
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