Dementia and ID

Intellectual disability (ID) is defined as a condition whereby an individual has lifelong limited intellectual, social and vocational ability. ID covers a range of conditions and syndromes including Down’s syndrome. Increasingly people with ID are living longer, healthier lives. Studies show that the prevalence of dementia appears about the same as in the general population. However, the prevalence of dementia among people with Down’s syndrome is higher. Dementia among people with Down’s syndrome in Ireland has increased from 15.8% to 29.9% between 2010 and 2014 according to the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). The average age of the onset of dementia for people with Down’s syndrome is 55 years old, with some cases presenting in their 40s.The individual with ID’s experience with dementia varies widely as do the symptoms. People with ID who are diagnosed with dementia may require specific supports and services but most continue to live within the community.