Saturday, 5 July 2014

Ensuring that the National Dementia Strategy is high priority to thenext government

A few years ago I was honoured to be asked to be asked along with my wife, to be part of a working group looking into the then new National Dementia strategy.

This took around around a year to set up, and it has very hard work, but we enjoyed the experience.

I found it sad that many things mentioned in the strategy were not enforced, and the money provided was not ring fenced to stop it being mis-spent.

I also found it very sad that  staff in hospitals and care homes etc, were not made to undertake official dementia training, the same training that may have stopped a lot of the abuse we hear of these days. 

There were no safe guards put in place to penalise any care homes found to be abusing people with dementia, and many think that this should have covered removing the owners operating license, thereby preventing this from happening again.
I think a lot of hope was put in the care home owners doing this dementia training themselves, without it being enforced, but this did not work and can not work, unless the care home staff do the training by themselves. Some refused, simply sighting the high costs of the training, and the fact that they would have ended up paying their staff more money

 These days everyone is out to make a profit whether it is a hospital or care home, so they are not going to spend money on extra training.

I do however think those staff who do this training, by themselves are raising standards, and should be praised for doing this, but I just  wish employers would  do more to help with this officially.

These days we are seeing more dementia training sessions being set up around the country, but I think more should be done to make this mandatory to all care home ans nursing staff, in fact anyone in the public services who may come into contact with people with dementia

I think that most of us had hoped to see dementia support workers being used, straight from the point of diagnosis, but these days this does not seem to have happened, and it's very hit and miss where it does happen, bit like a post code lottery.

This is very sad as many struggle to accept the illness, let alone manage to move on after it. 

This is when we all need support, and if given this support many people would have accepted the illness at an earlier stage, and could have done something positive with the rest of their lives.

I do think that Governments over the last twenty years or so have given up their role of caring for the elderly, because they are allowing local council care homes to be closed down, then forcing many who need care to sell their homes to pay for the required services, something I find to be totally wrong, when these same people have worked hard all of their lives and have paid taxes and national insurance.

So this is in effect another form of taxation.

So perhaps its time for these governments to step up and do the right thing, by providing the proper free care, which should be a basic right for any elderly person, including those who have dementia, who ask for nothing more than to finish their days with good care, and being treated with the dignity and care which others take as their right.

Good quality care is a basic right for all so its up to all to campaign and force governments to step up and help those in need.

I am hoping that the next Government picks the Strategy up and extends it for another 5-10 years, so we really do some big changes in dementia. 

This has taken some time, so it's up to everyone who has the illness or knows someone who has the illness, to campaign and push their members of parliament in to ensuring that the strategy remains high on the list of priorities over the next 5 years at least.


Elderly and driving

After the news in the media during the last few days, I think it's time that elderly people had their eyes etc tested on a regular basis...