One of Greater Manchester’s projects, GM GOLD (Growing Older with Learning Disabilities), has launched a report on their findings.

GM GOLD was an inclusive research project carried out by a team of older people with learning disabilities. They wanted to find out what older people with learning disabilities thought about their local area, whether they feel part of their local community and what support or barriers exist to meaningful social contacts, interactions and activities.

Going for GOLD! Growing Older with Learning Disabilities: An inclusive research project to reduce social isolation amongst older adults with learning disabilities.

What they found:

  • It is vital that we work to change public perceptions and behaviours towards people with learning disabilities. This may be long term but is vitally important to improve their lives and sense of belonging.
  • Due to experiences of discrimination, segregation and low economic status, people with learning disabilities may be more vulnerable to the negative impacts of growing older through the potential long-term impact on self-esteem and confidence. They also experience more health inequalities than the rest of the population and as a result need accessible and inclusive support throughout their lives to live healthy lifestyles to remain healthy longer.
  • It is vital that future planning takes place with families and individuals so that older people with learning disabilities are better supported to deal with the transition that often takes place when their parents die.

Visit the website to read the report in full, a summary briefing, and an evaluation of the experiences of the older people involved in delivering this research project. Easier to read versions of the reports are also available.