The current standard of care for those suffering with dementia has been called patchy by NICE, with some people not receiving basic levels of care. The Institute has drawn up new guidelines in an attempt to make care for dementia patients more consistent.
To date NICE has concentrated on encouraging healthy lifestyles and issuing recommendations about various NHS treatments. Thanks to the NHS shake-up, NICE is now responsible for providing guidance regarding the care and support of the elderly and those suffering from dementia.
The organisation has created a guideline including 10 standards it wants the entire care sector to follow. One guideline outlines the necessity for those with dementia to be living in housing that meets their requirements. Another guideline says patients should be given any support they may need to access leisure activities.
Other standards focus on keeping those with dementia involved in community life and making sure they continue to get access to services such as opticians and dentists.
NICE deputy chief executive Prof Gillian Leng has admitted that the current care system is patchy, in some places the standards are excellent, in others the standards are not met at all. Leng feels as though they are playing catch up because the number of people suffering from dementia has risen so dramatically.
It is thought that around 670,000 people in England are suffering from the disease, with one in three people expected to develop dementia after the age of 65.
George McNamara from the Alzheimer’s Society has said many people with the condition were denied the quality of life they deserved.
“These standards will be a useful tool for the care sector and show what people with dementia and carers should be able to expect. But, as they are not mandatory, it’s a case of ‘wait and see’ as to whether this guidance will drive real change or just sit on the shelf.”
Living with dementia not only affects the person suffering from the condition, it also affects their loved ones. If you are struggling to cope with the presence of dementia in your life, speaking to a counsellor could help. For more information, please see our Dementia page.
View and comment on the original BBC News article.