Thursday, November 26, 2009

Care of dementia patients in hospital

Hospitals run on information and on a chain of command that an irrefutable statement of fact and before we all throw our hands in and scream cries of execration over the care of dementia patients in hospital ' it would be wise to consider this point

Problem can arise when the person lives in their own home: they arrive in hospital unaccompanied, disoriented and afraid , who do the hospital contact ?

Of course staff need to respect and care for these patients and to have the training to enable them to do so. But looking after demented patients in what, to them, is an alien environment is hugely demanding of time and patience and can be virtually impossible in a busy acute medical ward: on many occasions

When it comes to discharging people whose health is less than perfect it isn't true that "NHS staff don't understand that people live their lives with dementia, and that this is as well as they are ever going to be"; I think they understand this only too well. I firmly believe that those who don't understand are community care managers who demand all sorts of assessments and who have absolutely no sense of urgency about facilitating patients' discharge, such that delays of two or three weeks are not unusual.

Every neglected patient in hospital is one patient too many. However, hospital care for dementia patients is much more complicated that it may seem.

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