We will have a booth set up at the conference to offer the book, “Hello My Name is Ken” and chat with anyone interested in learning from our story. We will also focus on building resources and making connections for ‘Ken’s Place Foundation’.
Our particular area of interest is, of course, adults aging with DS but we are also keen to learn what’s happening for all ages. The support, awareness, and education around what Down Syndrome is and isn’t, along with the information readily available today are so encouraging. I can only imagine what Ken’s life would have been like growing up given the inclusion and support we now see for people with DS. Having said that, I know so clearly that our mission is to continue our quest to bring that same level of support and inclusion to Adults aging with DS. That area is still lacking, understandably since the demographics are now just changing to a circumstance where Adults with DS are reaching their 50’s 60’s and even a few older than that! Fabulous in many ways, as not all will develop Dementia, and will have longer lives to enjoy and spread the love they do so easily. But for that percentage of adults with Downs who will develop dementia, (at this point 50+% after age 40), our focus is to shine the light brighter here. Take what we already know about aging, DS, and dementia and combine the research and understanding to come up with better solutions for the care of Adults aging with DS and dementia. It’s a different solution than what already exists in our extended care or other types of care homes, group homes or home care offering and a level of care we believe is possible. The solution for this already exists too, we just need to find our way through to see it, just like we found a way to include children, teens and young adults with DS into our society, into our companies, into our lives, and into our hearts. As I’ve said before, people with Down Syndrome contribute to our world in incredible ways. We will find a way to help support them in their senior years too.