The Alzheimer’s Society has published a report entitled ‘Low Expectations – Attitudes on choice, care and community of people with dementia in care homes’.
Amongst other findings, the report found that 70% of UK adults responding to a YouGov poll said they would feel scared about moving into a care home in the future, only 41% of family members responding to the survey thought the quality of life of the person with dementia was good and only 44% of family members said that opportunities for residents to take part in activities were good.
The report contains a number of recommendations aimed at improving the quality of care received in care homes. The report and a new handy guide to help people choosing a care home can both be found at www.alzheimers.org.uk/lowexpectations
In addition the Society have also developed in association with the Royal College of Nursing ‘This is me’, a simple and practical tool that someone going into a care home can give to staff to help them understand their needs. It provides a ‘snapshot’ of the person with dementia, giving information about them as an individual, such as needs, preferences, likes, dislikes and interests. It should enable staff to treat each person as an individual, thereby reducing distress for them and their carers. This can also be downloaded from the above web page.
To ensure that local residents get access to these guides I have written to Rotherham Borough Council to ask them to make the handy guide available to individuals seeking information and to encourage local care homes to use ‘This is me’.