Distressed behaviours and dementia
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  • Peter Gathercole

Distressed behaviours and dementia


It is fully recognised in the care sector that there are a growing number of people who now require support in one form or another. From domiciliary care providing home care to full nursing care in a specialised care home. As a part of this there are a growing number of people who are now being diagnosed with Dementia and this number is growing every day, putting pressure on existing services. Department of health (2009) states “One-third of people with dementia live in care homes and at least two thirds of all people living in care homes have a form of dementia. This state of affairs has not been planned for, either through commissioning services or through workforce planning.”

Care providers are guided by the national minimum standards set by the care quality commission. National Minimum Standards (2000) states “No service user moves into the home without having had his/her needs assessed and been assured that these will be met.” Through these care providers each will have their own set of pre-assessment documents that will guide the service in their decision as to whether they can provide the care that the individual needs. Guiding the service to feedback information that will be the basis for the care plans to be written, working close with the service user and or family which will then be passed to the care staff.

So why on occasions does it go so wrong for the individual, what happens from the time the pre-assessment was completed to the time they receive their care and the ongoing process of evaluation of care plans, that care services are found to lack skills and knowledge in distress behaviours. In an answer UNMET NEEDS, it is reasonable to expect that the pre-assessment was complete, the discussions with the individual and family is correct, the care plans contain all the correct information and the care team are fully aware of the individual’s needs. NICE Guidelines (2006) states “Health and social care staff should take account of the views of carers and relatives who describe behaviour that could be in keeping with dementia.”

But we still overlook the basics, the basics that we need, the basics of physical, psychological and occupational needs that makes us an individual. Kitwood (1997) says “Satisfaction and wellbeing will only be when we address meaningfully the needs of those with Dementia.

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