DIMENTIA IN UK
Table of Contents
LACK OF SUPPORTIVE STAFFS6
UNORGANISED HOMES OR MISMANAGED ONES6
LACK OF MEDICAL ATTENTION7
UNSUFFICIENT CAPITAL OR FUNDS8
PROBLEMS FACING BY CARE WORKERS9
Now we are living in a ageing society. In 2001 the average age of British people where 31 and obviously it might have increased by now. That’s a message for all of us. Which says we will become a aged society in the recent future. This show the importance of care homes, in this society care homes are something which is really unavoidable may be cause of our culture or living way, so one day or other day most people have to go care homes or elderly homes or even at least to a residential home. There is one more big issue we must be concerned about. Dementia, studies show that there is a 20% chance to people of 60 or above to get dementia. So in this assignment I am going to have a look the problems facing by old people in care homes with dementia. Because of I had worked in care homes for more than 2 years with people having dementia, I had witnessed most of their problems mainly mentally and physically they are are suffering more than we can imagine. We can only find out what they are going through when only we have been in their state of mind at least only for one day. AND There are number of things which we must have concerned about them. 1. Physical abuse
2. Mental abuse
3. Time management problems
4. Lack of supportive staffs
5. Un organised homes or mismanaged ones
6. Lack of medical attention
7. Un sufficient capital(both in private and public funded care homes) 8. Problems facing by care workers
Now in UK physical abuse are big issues facing in care homes. As we seen in news papers there must be at least one case of physical abuse in care homes on everyday. This is a big concern for government and they are doing all they can to stop these crimes. But till now its going on. While saying about physical abuse it can be from caring staffs relatives of the patient or can be even from the managers as we seen in west Yorkshire and in Manchester. And there are hundreds of cases not reported or neglected. Their cases which the caring staffs physically abused or in some cases lead to deaths of the patients To stop these crimes there are certain things the management the government and the relatives of the patients can do.
a: Strong laws- when we are saying about laws the laws must be strong enough to protect the victims mainly, if the victims are venerable old people, who cant take decisions. The laws that give heavy punishments to the suspect that no one will dare to do such a crime.
b: Well aware and trained staffs- All the workers in the care home such as carers, managers even the domestic workers must be well aware how to treat a old person with dementia and make sure they are well qualified to do the job they are assigned to do. And training sessions must be given at least in every 2 months.
c: report- If anything happen, even small abuse must be reported to the home manager and he must take any necessary actions like report to the police or authority.
d: Monitoring- Using of closed circuited cameras(CCTV) will be efficient to avoid physical violence against patients. The people dealing with the patients both relatives or friends and carers will be aware that they are been watched and can prevent the physical violence. And somebody will say that this might be breach of privacy, the answer is safeguarding the vulnerable adults is the main concern.
Mental abuse is more serious and dangerous issue than physical abuse because of them is already suffering from a state of mental issue. Because of they have dementia it does not mean they are vegetables who cannot feel and understand anything. There are different types of dementias in which they are partly aware of what’s going around and in the other case they are well aware of everything happening round but ony in sometimes they just become negative or unresponsive. All they need is lot of care and love, which can prevent from going further into complete dementia there are different types of mentally abuses going in our care homes like Treating in un human way- like treating an animal, feeding a dog or something that this will break the heart of the patient and he or she will think they are no longer useful to the public and in some cases leads to suicides or suicide attempts as we seen in Scotland. Taking advantage of their sickness- taking money from the patients by carers without the knowledge of the management taking jewels or can be anything. There are many reported cases all over UK. All the solutions which were used in the case of physical abuse can be applicable here also.
Time management is a big issue in the care homes nowadays. In other words patients are not getting enough time with the carer or GP To understand and to take care well of them, this may be cause of shortage of staffs, unorganised home, un efficient staff, too crowded homes or even because of less facilities in the home or society.
A: Make sure there are enough staffs in a care home all the time especially in the night time. This is the responsibility of the home manager and the social workers.
B: Unorganised care homes- make sure that all the care homes are ready to go before getting the clearance certificate from the local council or authority, make sure the home has all the facilities and equipments for the patients and the staffs which can work properly.
LACK OF SUPPORTIVE STAFFS
There are many care homes in UK (both public and private funded homes) which has less staff than required .Only a care home with enough and efficient staff can work properly. There is one more problem that even there is enough staffs the staffs are not well trained and efficient. A: make sure there is enough staffs all the time in the home in order to face an emergency situation. For example, if one patient fell off from the bed and he or she has a fracture there must be at least 3 staffs with that patient by the time there must be other staffs ready to take care of other patients also.
B: Give all the staffs including carers, managers and domestic workers well training at least ever two months and do not forget to give fire trainings and fire drills, so the staffs can act quickly in case of a fire and save their and others life.
UNORGANISED HOMES OR MISMANAGED ONES
There are many homes in UK which are Unorganised or poorly managed. In other words there must not be a proper management for the homes and the management which it has such is running that care home in a such a bad way, this cannot be accepted the local authorities and the government are responsible for it. There must not be proper staffs; no basic facilities like toilets, fresh water, proper beds or even don’t have full time nurse.
A: such care homes must be shut down by government and cancel licence of the owner of that home, patients must be moved to some other better homes.
B: regular or routine quick inspections must be done by social workers and other official authority.
LACK OF MEDICAL ATTENTION
There are number of care homes in UK still running which are not able to provide enough medication attention to the old people with dementia. This includes not enough consultation with GPs and other medical people like nutrionist, councillor, dentist, social workers and even without nurses. According to WHO dementia is a mental illness which needs lots of medical attention and care. In some cases it can be curable or at least prevent from getting worsen. So it is a disease which needs proper medication and regular checkups compulsory necessary. This lack of medical attention to the patients may be of different reasons There must not be enough medicines with the care homes or may be mismanaged by the authorities and this example of mismanaged home. There must be no proper full time nurse in that care home to give exact medication to the patient at the correct time and their must not be proper visiting of social workers to the care home for the inspection to check the condition of the home as well as the patients. There is one more possibility, that there is no proper GP visit in the care home to detail examine each and every patient by time to time to ensure their wellbeing and medical condition. This may be because there must not be sufficient GPs for large community or council and he/ she has to make visit more care homes in less time. This has to be well managed by local authority or local government. A: make sure there is enough medicine in stock for the patients as recommended by the GP. B: make sure there is a well trained person (can be a nurse or trained carer) to give medication to patients in the proper time.
C: make sure the medication is kept in a well safe place which cannot have access to patients or other unauthorised personals because in a care home with patients of dementia they are is a chance for them to take the medicines accidently unless they are kept safe.
D: Proper GP visit- It is both the duty of the manager and the care workers that the patients are getting necessary GP visit every time and if there is a problem with that they must talk to the local GP our other authority immediately. And the government must make sure there is enough doctors in a particular area.
UNSUFFICIENT CAPITAL OR FUNDS
At this time of recession or (recovering from recession) one big problem facing by the government and the care homes both publicly funded and privately is lack of money. Thousands of cares home are the edge of shutdown because of money problem. In the case of public funded dementia or care homes governments are cutting off the benefits, aids and funds which are given for the proper working of the homes. The main concern is the future of the patients who have been the residents of the care home for long time, usually in public funded homes the patients have no other money backgrounds other than they deposited in banks for them by government. In the case of moving from one care home to another it might be difficult for the patients both mentally and physically because they feel that care home like their home and leaving the home is much difficult for the people mainly for the old ones with dementia and there is a problem of money also in that situation. In the case of privately funded care homes they are also facing after effects of economic crisis. Staffs have been cut down, this will cause big problem for the patients because removing care workers means the patients are not getting well care at the right time. And there must be a cut down in the total expenditure also which means there is a chance of nutritious food and other services like napkins, tissue papers toilet items etc. this all will affect the service user one way or other way. And even though there is hundreds of private funded care homes are at the edge of shut down. This will leads to the problems same that of the problems of patient’s public funded ones.
A: Find more funds- That is the responsibility of the government to find more funds for the working of the care homes well. Because elderly people with dementia are vulnerable and they cannot act or think by themselves so they must be protected in any means, so the government has to keep funding the organisations. And they can call for an investigation which will look for the cuts of unnecessary expenses in care homes and can be provided to the basic needs. In the case of private funded care homes which are about to shut down can be undertaken by the government and keep running it by welcoming external funds from the public or from the private organisation, like a share holders who are ready to fund the home. And some big companies and organisations can take part. Any way our community is an ageing population and more care homes or residential homes has to be open in nearby future so the government has to mind some means to find more money or capital for the proper working of them.
PROBLEMS FACING BY CARE WORKERS
When we look into the problem suffering undergone by aged people in care homes with people with dementia, we must also look into the problems of people who are caring them that is care workers or carers. Now in UK there are lots of problems facing by carers, studies have shown that carers who look after old people with dementia are suffering from stress cause because of over work and tiredness. There are number of care homes in UK in which the care workers have to do extra hard work with very low pay. This is a noble profession in which they are supposed to get good pay for the work they are doing. But unfortunately this is not happening. At the same time people who are doing less effortless job in other fields are getting very good salary when compared with the care workers who are doing hard works. Studies have shown that most carers are only getting basic salary (that is 6.10). This situation is forcing many experienced hardworking efficient carers to leave this job and to find other jobs. Harassment, bulling and force to work hard by managers or superiors is not a rare thing, like which had been reported in Suffolk. A survey done with care workers all over England shown that in some cases they are forced to carry a patient at least once a day to move him or her from one position to other even though it is restricted by the law. And this may lead to back pain or other medical conditions in the future. A study in 2012 have shown that ethical minority people who work in care homes had been suffering from hard bullying and racial abuse from co-workers, patients and even from relatives of the patients. This is a serious issue of concern. Some old people may be they are suffering from dementia have a tendency to attack the carers when they are trying to give personal care. And in some cases they cannot even complaint because the patient is not doing this intentionally. As said earlier there is not enough care workers in the care homes, sometimes the carers have to do overtime for many days this may cause them serious health issues.
A: make sure the care worker is fine with the job and he/she has no complaints or concerns about both patients and colleagues and that’s the responsibility of the manager.
B: call for a group meeting every month and get the feedback from every member of staff and if there is any issues or complaints response to it quickly.
C: make sure all the members of staff has undergone a medical check up in every 3 months and make sure they all are fine. This is also important because they are caring the patients also. RECOMMENDATION
As I have provided recommendation after issues I am not going too far into that, any way briefly there are lots of issues in the care homes for elderly people with dementia, it is true that they cannot be changed in one day but it can be changed in not long time by identify the problems carefully and managing them efficiently like, government has to take initiative by making new laws which will protect the vulnerable old people in care homes from all type of abuses, training the care workers properly and understand their problems also. The home management has to make sure everything in their home is going well by taking the correct action at the correct time. Carers must show responsibility to the work they are doing. And also the families also have the responsibility to support the patient. All they need is support and love.
In this assignment I was able through look into the problems faced by old people with dementia in care home. This assignment is very relevant at the situation because we are now in a ageing society, so understanding the care homes and the difficulties faced by the patience is much needed. I consider this assignment as a very useful one which can help me in my future studies and career
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SUBMITTED TO: LORNA BROOKS