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Supporting older people with learning disabilities and their families
Supporting older people with learning disabilities and their families

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Session 5: Care homes


Please be aware: this session discusses suicide, death and dying. If you are likely to find this challenging, please consider carefully how you might want to engage with this.

In this final case study, you will meet Susie, aged 60. Susie lived at home with her parents until she was in her early twenties and following the death of her father moved into supported living. Following a period of deteriorating mental and physical health, during which time Susie had made multiple attempts to drown herself in the sink and had lost a lot of weight due to her swallowing difficulties, she was admitted to hospital with a chest infection.

Due to the complexity of her physical and mental health needs preventing Susie from returning home Susie was discharged from hospital to a care home, which provides both residential and nursing care, for an initial assessment. The assessment identified that Susie was having problems swallowing and within hours of Susie’s admission a Speech and Language Therapy referral was made. Through the interventions of the multi-professional health care team Susie’s mental and physical health improved. Susie remained in the care home which has become her long-term home. The team continue to support Susie to maintain her health so she can live well.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • recognise aspects of good support for people with complex physical and mental health needs as they grow older
  • understand end-of-life care planning.