Dementia patients are nearly twice as likely to die in a care home than those without the disease, a study published today has found.
Figures show 59% of deaths where dementia, Alzheimer’s or senility is the primary cause occur in a care home while only 16% of the general population die in care homes.
The numbers compiled by the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network highlight the need for quality training in dementia and end-of-life care for care home staff.
“Care home staff need to be given training and support in end-of-life care in general and the particular challenges of caring for people with dementia,” said Claire Henry, director of the National End of Life Care Programme, which developed the network.
“There is some excellent work going on in the care home sector but homes need professionals who can assess a person’s needs and support him or her in advance care planning. Staff should at least be able to recognise when an assessment or such planning is appropriate.”
The report was produced by the South West Public Health Observatory. Director Dr Julia Verne said: “People with these conditions are especially vulnerable because many cannot express their own wishes in terms of care at the end of life.”
The report also showed that deaths from heart disease, cancer or respiratory illness were more likely to occur in a care home where dementia was a contributory factor.
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