Learning Disability Week 2013: Why Families Matter

With the decline in social care funding, families are the primary support for most people with learning disabilities.

As a parent, thinking about a time when you won’t be there to support your son or daughter is extremely difficult. Not knowing who will be there to ensure your son or daughter has a good life and is given choices about the way they live is something a lot of families worry about.

This year, Learning Disability Week - the annual Mencap-led event - focuses on this important issue.

Families were asked them how they felt about the support available for their learning disabled son or daughter in the future as part of the recent Thinking Ahead project.

The results showed a vast majority of parents had serious concerns about how their son or daughter would be supported when they were no longer able to provide this support themselves.

  • 78% of families said they would be worried or extremely worried that anyone would be around to help their son or daughter make decisions that are in their best interests
  • 79% of families were worried or extremely worried that no one will be there to make sure their son or daughter has a good life.
  • These statistics show that for families these are serious issues and that currently support provided around this is not doing enough to alleviate this concern.

    Planning for the future raises difficult questions for families but having a plan in place can help remove the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty about what will happen as you and your son or daughter grow older.