Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Dementia Care At It's Worst.

I was absolutely appalled to watch the Panorama programme last night about a home caring for patients with dementia. Suspecting rough treatment, a resident’s daughter concealed a hidden camera in her mother’s room and she was shocked to the core when she saw the footage. BBC1 Panorama

Not only was her mother roughly handled but she was not even spoken to at any time as a human being. She really was subjected to treatment that you would not inflict on an animal. I was outraged.
I was concerned over the reaction of the authorities, including the CQC. Of course, cases like this are in the minority, but in my view, if there is just one case like this, then that is one case too many
As an industry, we need to feel confident that procedures are in place to empower staff to come forward and speak up – to whistle blow! To report poor performance.  

Imagine, you have lived your whole life as a worthy human being, adhering to the law, working, maybe bringing up a family, but then you become ill. You lose your capacity to reason and make decisions. You slowly sink into another world. Nothing is as it used to be. But you still have feelings, you still feel pain, emotionally and physically, and you certainly feel fear. You are still you – you are just different to what you used to be.

I was moved to tears by the treatment of this poor lady who was filmed being hit and physically abused by an uncaring, male carer. He received an 18 months prison sentence. Too lenient? I should say so! Let’s hope he is deported back to the Philippines after he has served his time. Our care sector will be better off that’s for sure.

Thankfully this particular lady was moved and is now much happier and safer. 

With dementia, the attention to personal detail is so important. When someone can’t tell you want they want, it is up to the care staff to gather that information and record  it. Either from the family of the resident or from other carers. It’s basic human rights and dignity.

Feeling pretty hot under the collar about this, I was delighted to read in the Kentish Gazette today that the East Kent Hospitals have launched their Dementia Champions programme. This includes a simple concept – a ‘This is Me’ book where the likes and dislikes of the patient are recorded. Thank goodness there is something to feel good about.


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