There is an urgent need to educate carers and provide them with a tool kit that enables them to develop the skills to support people living with dementia as they are currently receiving poor treatment. It is now thought that dementia care must be powered by a specific model called the Kitwood plus. The Kitwood model was first published in 1997. It was updated in 2007.
The Kitwood plus has two dominant themes: Relationships Daily experiences.
These are supported by the six strands of the model: Love Identity Inclusion Comfort Occupation and Attachment.
Why is the model needed? There is a lack of skilled staff who are adequately trained in dementia care in nursing care homes, hospitals and domiciliary care. Staff have not received the correct training and do not know how to interact with people living with dementia. Around 750,000 people have dementia in the UK. This figure is projected to double in the next thirty years according to the DOH. People living with dementia need consistency and stability. Satisfactory care will not be given to dementia patients so long as temporary staff are looking after patients.
Advantages of the model: It will not be costly to maximise relationships and employ permanent staff. The model encourages staff to talk to patients and show an interest in them.
Difficulties of the model:
Palm Court nursing home believe it is not enough for the Kitwood model to promote love and affection. To be of any use to their residents they believe the model should be built on: Relationships & Daily experiences.
Difficulties in introducing the model: Staff will have to make personhood, relationships and daily experiences a priority instead of ADL.
Effects of introducing the model: Dementia care staff will take a personal interest in the resident welfare and build relationships with relatives.