More than half of dementia sufferers do not get sufficient care: report

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DEMENTIA patients across the region are being let down by care and support that fails to meet their needs and prevents them from being able to stay in their own homes, according to a new report from the Alzheimer’s Society.

The Support, Stay, Save, Care and Support of People with Dementia in their Own Homes report uncovered a host of challenges that families across Yorkshire and the Humber face when trying to look after and access support for their loved ones.

The report comes as NHS Sheffield undertakes a four- month consultation with the relatives of residents at two specialist dementia care homes in the city threatened with closure.

Woodland View in Norton and Birch Avenue in Chapeltown will be forced to shut if the decision to scrap £2.8m in ‘top-up’ funding, currently provided by the primary care trust, is approved.

The report found 51 per cent of people were not receiving sufficient care and support, with incidents including dementia patients being left bedridden, wearing unchanged incontinence pads and being malnourished.

A further 55 per cent of carers felt they were being put at risk of stress, depression and other serious illnesses because they were being left to struggle unsupported.

But only 10 per cent said the care patients at home received met all their needs.

Carol Ann Grove from Doncaster who looked after her mother until she went into residential care, said: “We were struggling so called the experts to access some support. That was easier said than done. I called social services and we began a whole host of assessments to determine mum’s needs.

“We had one assessment and mum was expected to answer questions like, ‘Do you cook your own meals?’ when she didn’t know her own name.

Mum was telling these ‘nice’ people she looked after herself all the time, rarely saw us, bathed and washed herself, did all her own shopping, cooking and cleaning, and went into town on the bus by herself.

“Caring for a loved one with dementia is the most awful thing to have to go through so the process of accessing high quality and relevant care needs to be as simple as possible.”

Nicki Dyson, from the Alzheimer’s Society said: “It is an absolute travesty so many people with dementia are being forced to struggle without the care and support they need. The consequences of this represent an unacceptable human and financial cost.”