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Dementia awareness and diagnosis: looking beyond the learning disability

How an Admiral nurse aims to empower individuals and help nurses identify early age dementia

How an Admiral nurse aims to empower individuals and help healthcare professionals identify early age dementia

Picture: iStock

For people with learning disabilities, dementia can happen at an earlier age than in the general population, but it may not be spotted until much later.

‘People see the learning disability first,’ says Jane Nickels, who qualified as a learning disability nurse in 2007. ‘So there is a tendency to assume someone has always behaved in a particular way, rather than thinking there is something more happening.’

More timely diagnosis of dementia is a priority

Now, as the UK’s first specialist learning disability Admiral nurse, she is on a mission to raise awareness and improve services and health outcomes for this group of patients. ‘One of my aims is to achieve more

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