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Caring for people with dementia on hospital wards

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Caring for people with dementia on hospital wards

Counting the cost: caring for people with dementia on hospital wards

Alzheimer’s Society collected quantitative and qualitative evidence via a questionnaire from the following groups:

- Carers: 1,291 responses received

- Nursing staff: 657 responses received

- Nurse/ward managers: 479 responses received.

 

  • 47% of carer respondents said that being in hospital had a significant negative effect on the general physical health of the person with dementia, which wasn’t a direct result of the medical condition.
  • 54% of carer respondents said that being in hospital had a significant negative effect on the symptoms of dementia, such as becoming more confused and less independent.
  • 77% of nurse managers and nursing staff said that antipsychotic drugs were used always or sometimes to treat people with dementia in thehospital environment. Of those nurse managers and nursing staff who said that antipsychotics were used, up to a quarter thought that they were not appropriately prescribed to people with dementia.
  • 77% of carer respondents were dissatisfied with the overall quality of dementia care provided.
  • Key areas of dissatisfaction as identified by carer respondents were: nurses not recognising or understanding dementia; a lack of person-centred care; not being helped to eat and drink; a lack of opportunity for social interaction; not as much involvement in decision-making as wished for (for both the person with dementia and carer); and the person with dementia being treated with a lack of dignity and respect.
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