A new report, released by two charities, Marie Curie and Alzheimer’s Society, has revealed that dementia sufferers are not always getting high-quality care at the end of their life.
The report, which draws on research from across the UK in addition to information from health and social care services, found that dementia sufferers are not getting the care they need because the condition is not recognised as a terminal illness.
Living and Dying with Dementia – Barriers to Care addresses the often overlooked final stage of dementia – a progressive, terminal illness. It found the main barriers to proper care were poor recognition of dementia as a cause of death, inconsistent quality of care, inadequate pain management and inequality of access.
Phil McCarvill, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, at Marie Curie said: “I know from the personal experience of caring for my father that people with dementia have very specific needs. All too often, services do not respond to the needs of the individual.”
According to Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society: “A lot needs to happen to improve care. Improving staff training and awareness is vital in order to help make people’s final days as good as they can be. Mapping this journey is difficult but considerations for end of life care for people with dementia are essential to meet the needs and dignity of each individual and their loved ones.”
This an issue The Good Care Group have put a lot of thought into: “We employ our own specialist dementia nurse and have developed a dementia care program in partnership with Dementia UK,” said CEO Fiona Lowry. “All our staff receive on-going training and mentoring, based on the latest thinking and research, and our carers are continually learning how to work positively with those living with dementia.”