A person with dementia may see 100's of carers during their illness
Care worker and old man
Care worker and old man

A report in the Telegraph has highlighted the devastating shortfalls in dementia care.

It said that thousands of people with dementia are being subjected to “conveyor belt care” with some seeing more than 40 different care workers in six months. Experts said vulnerable and confused pensioners were being left in fear by councils and agencies who send a succession of strangers into their homes.

Charities said the constant stream of changing faces comes as care visits - to wash, feed and provide medication - get ever shorter, with many checks on the elderly lasting just a few minutes - even though for some it was the only human contact they had.

A survey by the Alzheimer’s Society shows that one in three of those with dementia had received visits from at least 10 different care workers in the last six months. One in 10 saw at least 20 workers while three per cent of those polled said their loved ones had received care from more than 40 different care workers during the period.

George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society said families were often left to pick up the pieces when staff disappeared without warning, while vulnerable people were left even more confused by visits from a succession of unfamiliar workers and over the average dementia journey some people could see hundreds of different care workers for shorter visits” he also said good care meant building a relationship with the person with dementia and understanding individual needs, which was undermined by the use of a succession of different workers.

Charities said staff had so little time during visits that some pensioners were forced to choose between a cup of tea or being helped to the toilet.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “People living with dementia can often be in a very vulnerable state and a lack of continuity can be extremely distressing and disorienting for them.”  She said care of the elderly was now “on the verge of collapse” because of insufficient funding.

Figures obtained by Leonard Cheshire, the largest voluntary sector provider of disabled care, found that two thirds of councils now use 15-minute visits, up 15 per cent on five years ago.

Last year the Government commissioned a review into the use of the visits, amid fears that some welfare checks on the most vulnerable are now being carried out in as little as five minutes in some cases.

For all the reasons above, that is exactly why Home Instead Durham ensure that all our visits are for at least one hour and that the same CAREGiver visits each time to avoid the issues in this recent report.

If you would like more details about our services you can contact us on 0191 374 4041

A group of Home Instead CAREGivers talking
Family welcoming a Home Instead care manager into their home