The British Psychological Society, the Division of Clinical Psychology and the Royal College of Psychologists have collaboratively produced Dementia and People with Intellectual Disabilities guidance:

Guidance on the assessment, diagnosis, interventions and support of people with intellectual disabilities who develop dementia.

The guidance is comprehensive across the pathway from diagnosis, post diagnostic support including assessment, through management and end of life care. Its strength is in its comprehensive nature, including, in the same breath, those practical and clinical suggestions which are so important in the day-to-day care of people as well as the evidence
base for these actions. The multi-professional nature of the guidance is so important. One of the things which has been achieved in dementia in the general population, particularly older people, is to convey a message that dementia is a challenge for everybody. Information and guidance has been key to this and the information provided in this guide will go a long way to reassuring people that issues regarding cognitive impairment and dementia in people with intellectual disabilities are not, in all cases and as a matter of course, the purview of the expert and the specialist.
Everyone knows that, thanks to advances in medical care and the social environment, people with intellectual disabilities are now living longer, a great success and a tribute to society, and that brings with it some challenges in terms of the need for more services for people with cognitive impairment and intellectual disabilities.

This guidance has been created carefully by the recognised authorities in the arena and has been woven together expertly. It is accessible and yet comprehensive, it is practical but not simplistic but most importantly it whets the appetite of the reader to learn more. Although concentrating on initiatives in England, an international audience could read it with benefit.

I certainly learnt more about dementia in people with intellectual disabilities in reading this than I have ever before.

Professor Alistair Burns
National Clinical Director of Dementia

Download the full guidance document here.