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New report says person-centred home care is key to living well with dementia

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A report released by the Alzheimer's Society has stated that person-centred care is vital in order for people with dementia to live well.

Using a person-centred approach to care  – recognising that each person with dementia is unique, and taking the time to gain a better understanding of each individual, including their personality, interests and history – was found to improve quality of life for those with dementia, reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs by nearly 50% in a study.

Care at home is beneficial

Within the report, the Alzheimer’s Society explained that “people with dementia benefit from being in familiar surroundings in which they are comfortable” and that there should be “a national focus on providing good quality care at home as, with the right support, it is possible for people with dementia to live independently in their own homes, sometimes until the end of their lives”.

The Alzheimer's Society also found that the benefits of personalised home care extend beyond the person cared for: “good quality care at home can reduce admissions to acute hospital care and early entry into care homes, providing savings for the health and social care economy.”

Support is needed for those with multiple conditions

The findings also highlighted that 75% of those requiring care have multiple conditions, leading to difficulty accessing services to meet their complex needs. They suggest that services need to become more integrated, looking at each individual’s need beyond their health and social care, so that they can access the support they need.

Good Care Group CEO, Fiona Lowry, added: “This report clearly confirms our one of our core care principles - that person-centred care at home can allow loved ones with dementia to live well for longer. It supports our own evidential research findings that personalised care dramatically reduces both the need for antipsychotic drugs, and avoidable hospital admissions. Sadly, it also highlights the difficulty of navigating the healthcare system for those with multiple conditions, which is why our home-care packages provide fully trained carers who liaise with all medical professionals on behalf of the person being cared for.”

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