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Chances to improve wellbeing of dementia patients are being missed

Actions that could enhance the wellbeing of dementia patients are not being taken, partially because of insufficient clinical understanding, a national survey from the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) has warned.

The report shows 33% of non-professional carers and 20% of professionals were unaware of the positive effects of good hydration, while 40% of non-professionals and 33% of professionals didn’t know the importance of quitting smoking – an exacerbating lifestyle factor that has contributed to around one third of Alzheimer’s cases globally.

77% of professional carers did not believe that doctors and nurses were sufficiently up-to-date with the latest dementia research, making them a “barrier rather than a conduit” to improved care. Recent Government dementia research has published best-care theory supporting tailoring home-based care to individual patients.

DSDC’s report highlights the need to develop dementia care for ethnic minorities, such as with individuals from African-Caribbean or South Asian backgrounds, who are at a heightened risk of developing dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society’s recent ‘Dementia does not Discriminate’ report explains the importance of culturally-sensitive memory sessions, language sessions, diet and personal care regimes. Similarly, Sensory Trust’s ‘Creative Spaces’ initiative promotes the benefits of outdoor pursuits.

With Jeremy Hunt having now revealed his plan for a localised rating system for dementia care, patients and their families are likely to have more choice for areas that are successfully developing their dementia care practices.   

Fiona Lowry, our CEO, commented: “This DSDC report highlights the importance of a continually growing understanding of dementia as a condition, as well as ways to help ensure independence and dignity for individual patients. At The Good Care Group, our own research and comprehensive knowledge of the latest medical reports ensures our highly-trained carers always have the latest information. That’s why we lead the way in improving outcomes for people with dementia, through our live-in, personalised care at home which employs ground-breaking approaches to dementia care.”