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Catering for older people with learning difficulties

22nd June 2007

Care agencies around the country are teaming up with Help the Aged to deliver specialised services to older people with learning disabilities.

This group is said to be one of the most marginalised in society, expected to incorporate 250,000 people by 2011.

The charity's Older People with Complex Needs Programme will dedicate £230,000 to local agencies, enabling them to give improved care in this area.

This will include the provision of specialist workers, an advocacy service and a conference to discuss ways in which older disabled people's needs can be met.

Daniel Pearson, director of community services at Help the Aged, said: "What is becoming apparent now, as our society ages and improvements in treatment afford longer lives, is that there are more older people with learning difficulties than ever before and these people have very different needs to their younger counterparts.

"Often you find programmes for older people or programmes for people with learning disabilities so that the people in both groups fall through the gap in the middle.

"This marginalised group has been silent for a long time and Help the Aged is working with other agencies to ensure they are silent no more."