Laing and Buisson highlights shortage of specialist dementia care

A third of residential homes registered to provide dementia care do not offer their staff specific dementia training, a national survey of the dementia care market has revealed. 

The report by social care market analysts Laing and Buisson found that dementia training in care homes was fragmented and ad hoc. It also highlighted a shortage of dedicated services for the 142,000 residents in UK care homes for whom dementia is a known cause of admission.

About 248,000 residents are believed to have the condition, and the number of people with dementia is expected to triple in the next 50 years. 

Almost half not receiving care in dedicated settings

Just under half (43%) of care home residents with dementia are not receiving care in settings dedicated to their needs, despite the bulk (87%) of social care expenditure on dementia services being spent in residential settings.

The report also predicts that growing awareness around the over-use of antipsychotic medication in care homes and the likelihood the government will impose stricter limits on the use of drugs will lead to a significant rise in care home operating costs and greater segregation within the homes.

Commenting on the report, sponsored by Bupa, Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Two-thirds of care home residents have dementia, that’s almost a quarter of a million people; yet as these new figures show the vast majority of people are not in homes set up to care for people with dementia. 
Sad indictment

“It is a sad indictment of the current state of dementia care that a third of care homes specifically registered for dementia fail to provide their staff with any dementia care training. This is probably the tip of the iceberg with many thousands more people with dementia in non-specialist homes.
“Alzheimer’s Society research has shown that training staff to deliver person-centred care can improve people’s quality of life and reduce the use of dangerous antipsychotic drugs.  In less than 15 years there will be a million people living with dementia; we need to gear the whole of the care home sector to delivering good dementia care.”

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