Reena in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of York Region has developed a comprehensive one-day training for Direct Support Professionals to help meet the complex needs related to Aging with a Developmental Disability and Dementia.
Seniors in Canada are a rapidly growing segment of the population and are living longer and healthier lives than previous generations. In 2014, over 6 million Canadians were aged 65 or older, representing 15.6 percent of Canada’s population. By 2030—in less than two decades—seniors will number over 9.5 million and make up 23 percent of Canadians. By 2016, one out of every five people will be a senior.
For the first time in history, People with Developmental Disabilities are living longer. Direct Support Professionals in our sector are facing new challenges in providing optimal supports to an increasing number of persons aging with developmental disabilities, who are living in a variety of community settings. There are complex issues that worker’s face in supporting our aging population.
There has been a higher rate of dementia detected among people with Down Syndrome than those seen in the general population. The average age of onset of dementia for people with Down Syndrome is 55 years of age with some cases presenting in their early 40’s. By comparison the majority of people with dementia in the general population are over 65 years of age. Dementia related diseases often go undiagnosed in the Developmental Services sector and are often mistaken for behavioral issues.
This training will help to increase knowledge of normal aging and around supporting an individual who is aging with a developmental disability, by identifying the similarities and highlighting the differences. This training is offered to Reena on a quarterly basis. The Aging with a Developmental Disabilities program is being offered monthly for 7 sessions dedicated to the training of Direct Support Professional’s to all eligible agencies in the Toronto Developmental Services Sector starting in September 2015- March 2016.
The Aging with a Developmental Disabilities Training will help increase worker competencies and knowledge base in supporting our aging population, through discussion, simulated exercises, case scenarios and information around detecting changes, problem solving, and overall health related issues associated with aging. Participants will be introduced to the NTG screening tool, and be educated in the area of accessible resources.