Choosing a care home and caring for people with dementia in care homes is set to be made easier thanks to new tools launched by Alzheimer’s Society today (Tuesday 29 January 2013).
The 'Handy Guide to Selecting a Care Home' and care home staff leaflet 'This is Me' come as the charity reveals that more than 9.3million* (19 per cent) of UK adults know a person with dementia in a care home.
A survey conducted by Alzheimer’s Society shows that 58 per cent of carers who had to choose a care home got all their information directly from the home itself. The Handy Guide to Selecting a Care Home is designed to be taken into care homes by people with dementia and their families and provides an independent and objective guide to what makes good quality care. The guide points those choosing a home towards the activities available, the way staff address residents and whether residents are able to dress themselves.
Also unveiled today is an updated version of the popular tool 'This is Me', which is designed to help care home staff provide better quality care by recognising the person behind their dementia. The leaflet can be filled in by a person with dementia or their family to inform care home staff of personal likes, dislikes and other pieces of information to help them cope in an unfamiliar environment. The tool was originally launched in hospitals in 2010 and has been hugely successful with over 300,000 leaflets having been sent out to hospitals across the UK.
Dr Ann Johnson, who has Alzheimer's disease and lives in a care home, said:
'Finding a care home was one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever had to make, and getting information that you can trust is really difficult. It was really important to me to look at the options of care I had and what I wanted the care home to provide.
'I'm lucky to have found a home that I’m happy and comfortable in. I have the care, support and love I need and I made the right decision, but not everyone is so lucky. This guide could make all the difference and I’m happy to support it.'
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society said:
'Most of us would be able to recognise bad care when we see it, but even at the best of times it might be harder to keep in mind all the things which go into delivering good quality care. People choosing a care home often have to make big decisions at an incredibly emotional time, so spotting little things such as how staff speak to residents or activities available can be difficult.
'Our new tools will provide an invaluable source of support to people affected by dementia and ensure that those who are looking at care are equipped to make the right choice for the people they love.'
Download the updated This is me
Download the Guide to choosing a care home