COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

A new report on dementia care by the British Psychological Society (BPS) was led by a University of Exeter expert.

New report recommends measures to improve dementia care

Enabling people with dementia to maintain control of the decisions surrounding their care is key to avoiding isolation, according to a new report by the British Psychological Society (BPS) led by a University of Exeter expert.

The report, led by Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter and Chair of the BPS Dementia Advisory Group, stresses that dementia affects a person’s sense of identity, how they think and behave, their mood and their personal relationships.

The BPS report calls for a better understanding of the psychological impact of dementia and makes a series of recommendation for commissioning services. The report states that improving people’s experience of dementia means improving the support they receive to process how they feel and how they understand the condition, their future and their relationships.

Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter and Chair of the BPS Dementia Advisory Group, said: “Maintaining a sense of control, identity and connection is a key focus as dementia progresses. Without it there is a risk that the person will experience a sense of isolation and dislocation at a time when the resources to protect against this threat are lacking.

“That’s why we say putting the person at the centre of care is vital to help people to live well with dementia.”

The BPS reportPsychological Dimensions of Dementia: Putting the person at the centre of care’ highlights a number of areas where action is needed to improve understanding and care, and makes recommendations for commissioning services.

The recommendations include:

  • People with dementia should be supported in making their own decisions as far as possible.
  • Care and treatment should be individually tailored to each person’s needs and circumstances.
  • Dementia care plans must cover all the person’s needs, including equal access to the right healthcare for other mental or physical health needs.
  • Families and carers should be included in care planning at all times and have access to psychological support.

Professor Clare continued: “The rights of people with dementia must be respected. We need to ensure their active and meaningful involvement in decisions about their own lives and in planning and evaluating the services they receive.”

The full report can be accessed on the BPS website.

Date: 14 November 2016

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