People with dementia in care homes deserve better

Categories: Care.

According to Alzheimer’s Society, 80% of people in care homes have dementia.

In its new report, ‘Low expectations’, Alzheimer’s Society suggests that the care homes sector faces an image problem. Its found that 70% of adults in the UK are fairly or very scared of going into a care home. According to relatives, only 41% of people in care homes are enjoying a good quality of life, however, 74% of relatives would still recommend their family’s care home.

Alzheimer’s Society say that scepticism about whether people with dementia enjoy a good quality of life is leading to a failure to raise standards of care. It is asking for collaboration between the government and care homes to help lift expectations and boost minimum standards and quality of life.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Society has such low expectations of care homes that people are settling for average. Throughout our lives we demand the best for ourselves and our children. Why do we expect less for our parents? We need the government and care homes to work together to lift up expectations so people know they have the right to demand the best.”

End of life care

Eve Richardson, chief executive of the National Council of Palliative Care and Dying Matters, said: “As this new Alzheimer’s Society report shows, one in three people over the age of 65 will die with dementia, and many of them will be living in care homes before they die. That’s why it is essential that care home staff are properly trained in meeting the end of life care needs of people with dementia to ensure that they are cared for with compassion and dignity right until the end.”

The ‘Low expectations’ report can be downloaded from the Alzheimer’s Society website, where other useful dementia resources can be found, for example, a guide to selecting a care home and the ‘This is me’ leaflet.

The National Council of Palliative Care has also published ‘How would I know? What can I do?‘ which is aimed at helping anyone looking after someone with dementia to understand and help alleviate any pain or distress they might be suffering. Dying Matters have also produced the document ‘Time to talk?‘ aimed at helping to start conversations with people who are affected by dementia.

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