Dementia Care Pathway-People with Learning Disability

The Psychiatrist is responsible for making the decision with regards to diagnosis; they will be reliant on the information and assessments of other professionals to assist in this process. The Psychiatrist will then decide on the most appropriate treatment for treating. The key role of the community nurse is to maximise the health and wellbeing of an individual. Looking at the individual from a holistic perspective the nurse will promote good health with proactive strategies, minimise health risks through assessment and care planning. The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational Therapists engage with clients using activities that are meaningful and purposeful to them to assess and treat the physical, psychological and social needs of the individual and their environment to enable them to reach or retain their optimum potential.

OTs use a range of different assessment methods, looking at functional and cognitive skills, for activities of daily living, activity levels sensory needs and well-being. Physiotherapists are responsible for promoting mobility to the optimum level for as long as possible and then for assessing and providing additional support and mobility aids when necessary. Speech and Language Therapists working with individuals with learning disabilities who have developed dementia cover two main areas: Communication: The Speech and Language Therapist’s role is to assess the communication needs of the individual with dementia, identify means for supporting these, and advising carers and support workers regarding improved, or successful communication.

Eating and Drinking: The role of the speech and language therapist is, in liaison with others, to assess the individual and advise regarding strategies to improve safety of eating, drinking and swallowing or to suggest strategies to support the maintenance of adequate oral intake. Clinical Psychologists can be involved in diagnosing dementia, often when the person’s difficulties are complex and the diagnosis unclear. Once a diagnosis has been made psychologists would intervene where there are problems such as challenging behaviour, depression and anxiety, or where there are issues to do with loss, illness and disability.