The Dementia Care Strategy

In my blog I’m going to write about dementia, this is because that was my main speciality in practice, and because I have a module launching in a couple of weeks that focuses on dementia and so it is uppermost in my mind.

Leonardo DaVinci
Old Man with Water Studies: Leonardo DaVinci

Last year I was thrilled (yes, I really was but didn’t let it show) that the Government was planning to release a Dementia Care Strategy and got quite excited that suddenly my ‘poor relation’ interest was going to be top of the news and lead to better funding and public attention, and also give me lots of new material to boost lessons and discussions in class. It was like as a child waiting for a particular present which isn’t exactly promised, but you feel there’s a good chance it will turn up. As you may know, the Strategy wasn’t published before Christmas, perhaps the Government had other things to deal with, but from my perspective, and others in the field and those who have Dementia, and their families, it was a disappointment.

We do know roughly what the Strategy might contain, because there’s been a draft, and the themes are likely to be raising public awareness, early recognition and improved care. One of the things the strategy was criticised for was a certain vagueness about any money to support the recommendations. Now I’m getting anxious that not only I won’t get the present, but that if I do it won’t have any batteries.

This is just a little corner of the world, and it’s not just about being a spoilt brat when there are so many other pressing concerns – older people, at risk of dementia, or who already have it, don’t usually have high expectations, but maybe this time it will be their turn (and with them all the nurses and other staff involved in their support) to beam with pleasure when they unwrap the parcel. We’ll have to wait and see.

2 thoughts on “The Dementia Care Strategy

  1. Dear Catharine

    Nice to see this blog. I have been busy recently and have had only a brief look at the final Dememtia Strategy. Of course I like the progressive ideas in the Strategy and the emphasis on training. But I can not help thinking that much more is needed. I am also concerned that not much mention is made of nursing. What do you think and how are going to respond at your university?

    Best wishes

    Trevor Adams

  2. Dear Trevor,

    thank you for your message – one of the things we are doing is asking the Dementia Care Practitioners how they think the strategy will have an impact on their roles – so sorry I haven’t replied earlier, I didn’t want to pre-empt their answers! I have got a potential project working with the adult nursing staff on education for raising awareness about dementia in general hospitals, I’m really looking forward to it, and am hoping we will be evaluating this at the same time.I’ve done some MCA training with case managers, and their lack of knowledge and basic understanding means they are desperate for more on dementia.
    There is also a potential research project examining priorities locally.I agree with your point about nursing – and think we also need to look at the amount of people with learning disabilities and sharing skills. I feel it is nurses who are best placed in terms of transferring expertise, but am concerned that it will become one of those situations where our input is hijacked, or as with BME work, energy is poured into research into what is required, then when we know, the money has run out.I feel we know enough to get going, but need funding for personnel and back-fill for training.
    So overall, I feel excited and optimistic, but at the same time, some wariness
    best wishes
    Catharine

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