9 Summary of Session 6
In this session, you have considered issues around health and wellbeing for people with learning disabilities. While a learning disability is not itself an illness, it is often accompanied by health conditions like epilepsy or cerebral palsy. People with learning disabilities are also vulnerable to ill health because of lifestyle issues, such as diet or lack of exercise, and this is exacerbated by poverty, isolation, loneliness and poor education.
To ensure equal treatment, services need to make a special effort to adjust for the needs of people with learning disabilities. A great deal can be done to mitigate the risks people with learning disabilities face, but it requires training and a willingness to involve carers, paid or unpaid, in their care and treatment. The laws are in place for this – the problem is well known, but practice often lags behind.
In this session you explored:
- situations where making independent choices may conflict with a healthy diet and lifestyle
- changes that can enable people to receive improved healthcare
- ongoing weaknesses in delivering good healthcare and how failures have resulted in serious harm and preventable deaths
- how health risks can be reduced if well managed
- why people with learning disabilities can be vulnerable to loneliness.
You can now go to Session 7.