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OT’s Receive New Guidance for Supporting Ageing Patients with Learning Disabilities
New recommendations for health and social care workers have been published by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The recommendations provide advice in regards to how occupational therapists and other health care professionals can best support those with learning disabilities as they age.
Image Source: South Wales Argus
Occupational therapists play a vital role in aiding people with learning disabilities to live as independently as possible as they age. In most cases, these individuals are cared for by a family member. However, if their parents pass away or there has been no other option but to move them into a residential care home, they can become very distressed and disorientated.
In response to this, NICE are encouraging occupational therapists, and other healthcare professionals, to increase the amount of support they offer people with learning disabilities when they are going through life-changing situations. The aim is to ensure that they can continue living independently, with as little disruption to their daily routine as possible.
The new guidance from NICE will also provide advice for occupational therapists on how they can assist these patients in accessing routine healthcare appointments, ensuring that they are not forgotten by the system, along with supporting them to stay healthy and active.
The deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, Professor Gillian Leng, said: “People with learning disabilities are living longer and reaching old age. This means that services have had to develop and adapt to cater to their needs.”
She continues: "Our guidance will help providers and commissioners support people with learning disabilities to achieve good health and be able to spend time the way they want."