Dementia warning for care homes

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A report by a firm of health and social care analysts has concluded that care homes need to improve their approach to people with dementia.

Dementia is a loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living. It is caused by the gradual death of brain cells and leads to memory, reasoning, planning and personality impairments. Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common causes of dementia.

The report found that:

  • Training was "fragmented and ad-hoc"
  • One third of care homes failed to provide staff with specialist instruction on how to deal with the condition
  • Only 57% of care home residents received the appropriate care in settings "dedicated" to the condition

It is believed that even though the care home sector had commenced a revamp of its services there were still serious gaps in provisions for residents with dementia.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society said the findings were a "sad indictment of the current state of dementia care. In less than 15 years there will be a million people living with dementia; we need to gear the whole of the care home sector to be delivering good dementia care."

It is hoped that the new health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, being launched in April will make this issue a priority.


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