A Once In A Lifetime Opportunity For The Nursing Community

World Down Syndrome Congress – a once in a lifetime opportunity for the nursing community.
The World Down Syndrome Congress is coming to the UK for the first time in nearly 40 years. The Congress takes place at the SEC’s Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow between 25th-27th July, where over 1200 researchers, health care professionals and families will come together to share experiences, best practice and learning through a detailed programme of oral presentations, practical workshops and Meet the Expert sessions. The congress represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for independent nurses to learn more about Down’s syndrome from an international community of experts, brimming with experience and knowledge about the condition.
For nurses, the requirement to understand the care needs of people with Down’s syndrome is on the rise, particularly those working with the elderly or in a care home environment – due to medical advances, people with Down’s syndrome are now living longer, some into their 60’s and 70’s. This means that nurses working with elderly patients will come across people with Down’s syndrome more often, requiring them to have a greater knowledge of the particular care needs of people with the condition, including the high instances of dementia and Alzheimers.
Over 50% of adults with Down’s syndrome will go on to develop Alzheimer’s by the time there are 50. Many will also develop early on-set dementia from the age of 30, which is part of the reason why people with the condition require regular health checks. The World Down Syndrome Congress provides a unique platform for learning about this and other important medical conditions, with a number of sessions relevant to nurses – one of the sessions entitled; ‘aging in place with down’s syndrome and dementia – an ethnographic account in a small group home setting’ looks at the very issue of the relationship between aging and dementia in patients with Down’s syndrome and the impact this will have on the provision of care from health professionals.
On Tuesday 24th July, prior to the Congress’s main programme, will be a ‘Health Symposium,’ where the latest research into Down’s syndrome related health conditions will be revealed and discussed – people with Down’s syndrome are commonly born with a number of health issues that affect their everyday lives. The symposium focuses on a range of health-related topics presented by the world’s leading researchers and experts. These include ‘emerging issues relating to celiac disease in children with Down’s syndrome,’ ‘Adult health screening – should we be screening for conditions less common in Down’s syndrome which are recommended for the general adult population?’ ‘Sleep-disordered breathing with children with Down’s syndrome’ and a session covering ‘mental health in adults with Down’s syndrome.’
Nurses caring for the elderly or people with learning disabilities are urged to take this unique opportunity to learn more about best practice in the care of people with Down’s syndrome, as part of their continuing professional development and we are in the process of seeking accreditation. To register and book tickets for the World Down Syndrome Congress 2018 and/or the Health Symposium, please visit https://confpartners.eventsair.com/wdsc-2018/mainregistration/Site/Register or call us on 0131 306 0120. A full conference programme can be found here: http://wdsc2018.org.uk/programme/
By Pandora Summerfield, CEO of Down Syndrome Scotland

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