Preconference workshop: Dementia and Age-Related Decline in People with Lifelong Disabilities

Thursday, October 31, 2013
First author:
Matthew P. Janicki
Preconference workshop

University of Illinois at Chicago and Co-Chair of the US National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices

Utica College (Utica, New York) and Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida

All authors:


1.  Matthew P. Janicki, Ph.D. 
2.  Ronald Lucchino, Ph.D. 

As providers are seeing the general age of their clientele markedly increase, concerns are growing about how to plan for and address age-associated pathologies. One such age-associated condition, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, affects a significant number of adults with lifelong disability. Many at-risk adults live on their own or with friends, and many affected adults live in small community group homes or with their families. How to provide sound and responsive community care is a growing service challenge. This session provides an overview of key elements of dementia in adults with lifelong disabilities and examines strategies agencies can employ to adapt their current services to make them ‘dementia capable’ and well as address pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical interventions. Specifically covered are the elements of dementia, as well its onset, duration and effect, and techniques for adapting environments and programs. Models for supports depending on the stage of dementia are also discussed, as are training foci areas and community care models that provide for "dementia capable" supports and services. Covered also awareness of adverse drug reactions and how these may mimic dementia and affect cognitive decline.