Can people with Downs syndrome get Alzheimer's

When people with Down syndrome get old

"In our house we now look after the first generation of people with Down syndrome who are retiring", says Petra Bender from Lebenshilfe Ennepe-Ruhr-Hagen. She runs a home for people with disabilities, including some with trisomy 21, as Down syndrome is now usually called.

Main risk: dementia

One of the greatest challenges: People with this disability age very quickly and they suffer from dementia more than average. In addition, the disease begins earlier than in people without disabilities. The German Alzheimer's Society points this out. It is not uncommon for people with trisomy 21 to develop Alzheimer's, a common form of dementia, before the age of 40.

The porters therefore have to adapt. Therefore, instead of care, care is becoming more and more important. Some providers, such as Lebenshilfe, also train their employees in palliative care so that residents can stay in their familiar surroundings for as long as possible. "If at all possible, we would like to accompany people until they die", says Petra Bender. But also for residents who need particularly intensive care, the Lebenshilfe has some places ready.

Not enough good concepts for older people

Rita Lawrenz hopes that she will find an institution for her son in which he can still be well looked after in old age. It won't be easy. Because good living and care concepts for older people with disabilities are absolutely in short supply. "Society does not have this in mind at all“, Criticizes Rita Lawrenz. "If it doesn't work at all, Dennis has to come back home. We are still there."