Look Essay

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Introduction There is a common consensus that as the general population lives longer there will be a significant impact on social care. There will be a need for greater social care services for the ageing population as the numbers of users requiring services and demand for more personalised options increase. “In the next 20 years, the number of people over 85 in England will double and the number over 100 will quadruple. Similarly, advances in medical knowledge and practice mean that disabled people can live longer and can lead healthier lives” (Department of Health 2008 pg.8) Aside from the demands of the general population, there will be a need for greater services for people with learning disabilities and complex needs as they age and life expectancy increases beyond the rate of the general population. Despite a wealth of research into learning disability and age related issues Government and social policy tends to segregate the issues of learning disability and old age, unsurprising given the traditional view that few adults with learning disabilities reach ‘old age’, however medical advances and social factors (e.g. healthier lifestyle and standards of living) have led to an expected increase in the lifespan of those with multiple and complex needs. As the life expectancy of people with learning disabilities increases so do other factors associated with ageing and these factors add to other complex needs which may lead to the need for increasing services that understand the needs of an older person with learning disabilities. Additionally factors related to syndromes, associated sensory and physical disabilities and lifestyles could account for greater prevalence of physical health problems compared to the ageing population without learning disabilities (Bland et al 2003) This review will look at the potential implications of this ageing

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