Charities fear lack of dementia patient care

Posted under Uncategorized on December 5th, 2014 by Editorial Team / No Comments

A recent report from two leading charities has highlighted the lack of proper care available to people with dementia. According to Marie Curie and the Alzheimer’s Society, this failure stems from the illness not being recognised as terminal.

Jeremy Hughes, the Alzheimer’s Society’s chief executive, said: “Dementia is frequently overlooked as a terminal illness and… there are unacceptable failures to prepare and plan for end-of-life care.” The exposure given to dementia over recent years has generally focused on ways of living well with the condition. The report, meanwhile, stresses that dementia is a progressive andterminal condition, demanding improved care of those in later stages of disease.

The research drew from both health and social care findings, and Phil McCarvill, head of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie, believes that “the issue is system-wide”. Before official diagnosis, the patient is treated differently by health professionals, he argues, even though they have “very specific needs”.

In the wake of the report’s publication, and the Alzheimer’s Society suggestion that 225,000 people will develop dementia this year, the two charities aim to bring together groups dealing with dementia to create an action plan focused on overcoming the issues raised.

A spokesperson for the UK’s Department of Health responded to the report by claiming the country will now see an “unprecedented focus” committed to providing high-quality care for dementia patients right through to the end of their lives.

Mr McCarvill says that “end-of-life care remains a hidden aspect of health and social care”, adding that hearing the Department of Health announce “the upcoming refresh of End of Life Care Strategy” will encourage the care reforms that dementia patients dearly need.

To read the full report Living and Dying with Dementia – Barriers to Care, click here.

Tags: Alzheimer's society, dementia care, MArie Curie



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