Growing older

Growing Older


Resources to help

We have a range of free resources for you to download by clicking on the link.

Talking Together

Talking Together: Facilitating peer support activities to help people with learning disabilities understand about growing older and living with dementia pdf

This handbook describes 20 activities to help people with learning disabilities understand more about growing older. There is an easy- to-follow guide for each activity so that a variety of people, including those working in housing and support, daytime activities and community teams, could support people to talk about their experiences and think about what might help to make their life easier and more enjoyable.


growing older evaluation toolkit for providers

Growing Older Evaluation Toolkit Pdf

The toolkit provides an assessment tool and action plan for organisations to improve support to people with learning disabilities as they grow older. It can also be used by families to check the quality of their relative’s support.


Intellectual Disability and Dementia: Research into Practice

‘Planning Ahead’ chapter in Intellectual Disability and Dementia pdf

This book chapter, written by Christine Towers and Heather Wilkinson, is based on the ideas in the Thinking Ahead guide for planning the future. It suggests ways in which practitioners can support families to think about the options, following a diagnosis of dementia, to make sure their relative is supported in a person-centred way.

Supporting People with Intellectual Disabilities to Have a Good Life as They Grow Older: A self-study guide
In addition, we wrote training resources for Pavilion Publishing:

  • A self-study guide (useful in any support organisation, for PAs, family carers, community organisations)
  • A training manual (for organisations and trainers)

Click here for a review of the training resources by Dame Philippa Russell, D.B.E, parent of a son with a learning disability, who has also contributed widely to policy on disability and on carers.


Workshops, training and development work


Our work on growing older emphasises people having an active and fulfilling later life. The key is finding out about people’s hopes, strengths, worries and difficulties and building support based on this knowledge. Please get in touch if you are interested in training and development support that has this approach.
We also provide training for care managers, and others, supporting older family carers whose relative with learning still lives in the family home.

Some of the options are:

  • training for care management teams wanting to build their skills in supporting people with learning disabilities living at home with older family carers – download leaflet with more details here
  • structured training for support staff, managers and social work teams based on the training we developed for Pavilion covering key aspects of life, such as being active and involved, physical health, emotional well-being and home life.
  • an introductory workshop to explore ideas about good support and future planning in later life
  • a workshop on a specific aspect of growing older, such as supporting people to be connected with others and with their community.

Our workshops and training are based on conversations and discussions with older people with learning disabilities to find out what is important to them.

We aim to make our training, workshops and development work affordable to everyone. Please get in touch to talk about what you need and our charges.

      Having an aim

      What we are aiming to change


      • Future Planning: people with learning disabilities have opportunities to talk about, and plan for, their hopes, worries and how they would like to be supported as they get older. Family and friends as well as paid supporters and practitioners contribute to future planning.
      • Enjoying life and staying well: organisations and individuals who provide support, social workers and commissioners think creatively about what helps people with learning disabilities to have a good life as they grow older.
      • Peer support and inclusion: community spaces and groups for older people are inclusive of people with learning disabilities
      • Circles of support: people with learning disabilities have a supportive network of people in their lives, including people who will advocate for any changing needs.


        A video clip, from the training resources, of Ian Davies and Christine Towers explaining the importance of creating opportunities for people to talk about growing older.

        The information on this page has been written by Christine Towers of Together Matters. Last reviewed on January 23rd 2024. We welcome your feedback on the content about Growing Older.