Dementia care training insufficient to meet needs of those in residential care

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

Research released on 5 March 2016 has found that training in dementia care does not meet the needs of residents within care home settings. Such residents are usually approaching the end of their lives and the provision of treatment by care workers who do not have the highest levels of dementia care training is worrying.

The Marie Curie Palliative Care Research department at UCL conducted the research and found end of life care for dementia sufferers to be disjointed and not fit for purpose. Care home workers are not being exposed to the highest levels of dementia care training which is leading to a workforce out of touch with the needs of their dependent residents.

The report states that dementia care is being viewed on its own outside of other health and social care settings such as end of life care. The Policy Lead at Alzheimer’s Society said:-

“70 per cent of care home residents live with dementia and have complex needs, particularly in the advanced stages of the condition. It is desperately concerning that care home staff don’t feel adequately trained or supported to provide specialist end of life care. The reality is that, without this, people with dementia could be denied a dignified and pain free death. Worst of all, this can often result in the human misery and economic cost of an emergency hospital admission in their final days.

We urgently need a care home revolution to transform the quality of the care and support provided. The workforce should be well-trained and invested in, on a par with the NHS, and not a poor relation.”

Dementia training is highly important for all those involved in caring for individuals with dementia. It is especially important in relation to those with advanced dementia as the ability to effectively communicate between resident and carer can become extremely difficult.

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