To Absent Friends – Resources for people with Learning Disabilities
The pandemic has been, understandably, very difficult for people with learning disabilities who have been disproportionately represented in the numbers of people who have died from coronavirus and consequently also in the numbers of bereaved people.
There are a range of resources available to support people with learning disabilities who are impacted by the virus personally (or in their social networks), who are at the end of their lives or who are bereaved.
A selection of these resources are listed below and are free to download. Additionally, a good source of information, advice and training regarding serious illness, dying and bereavement can be found on the website of the Network for Palliative Care of People with Learning Disabilities:
Books Beyond Words Series:
A large series of pictorial publications designed so that helpers can aid people with learning disabilities to explore issues related to physical and emotional health and relationships, including issues related to serious illness, death and bereavement.
During the pandemic there has been a series of free to download books produced to explore Covid related issues see:
Scottish Commission for Learning Disabilities:
The SCLD have developed a number of self-help booklets related to coronavirus and the impact on its impact for people with learning disabilities which can be found at:
They have also developed relaxation videos to support people during this time, these can be found at:
This Clinical guide is for front line staff to support the management of patients with a learning disability, autism or both during the coronavirus pandemic – relevant to all clinical specialities it can be found at
Management for the Treatment and Management of COVID-19 Among People with Intellectual Disabilities can be found at: Journal of Policy and Practice Intellectual Disabilities doi: 10.1111/jppi.12352, Volume 17 Number 3 pp 256–269 September 2020
Resources for Carers supporting someone with a learning disability through bereavement
Some helpful advice can be found in the publication “Bereavement and Learning Disabilities: A Guide for Carers ‘ which can be found at http://www.cwp.nhs.uk/media/3508/bereavement-and-learning-disabilities-a-guide-for-carers-master.pdf
National Bereavement Helpline for People with Learning Disabilities Mencap
has produced useful information about bereavement which can be found in their website at:
But importantly they signpost to an independent national helpline called ‘Grief chat’ which people with learning disabilities can access themselves by clicking on the link on the website
How Ardgowan Hospice can help people with learning disabilities who are bereaved during the pandemic?
Ardgowan Hospice has a new service, the Willow Care Project, which has been set up to support people who have been distressed by the impact of the pandemic and we welcome people with learning disabilities, or their carers to get in touch.
To access this service you can either phone the dedicated hospice phone number 01475 726830 ext. 2387 or ask for The Willow Care service.
You can also use the form available on our The Willow Care Service page linked below.