Report highlights importance of homecare in tackling dementia

 

Skilled homecare has a crucial role in ensuring people with dementia are able to live as full lives as possible, says a new report from the UKHCA.  The report, ‘Dementia and Homecare: Driving Quality and Innovation’ seeks to provide clear, practical guidance and examples of innovative practice to further dementia care in the community.

At Home Instead we provide specialist Alzheimer’s and Dementia training to our CAREGivers, to provide them with the skills and confidence required to help someone living with the challenges of these diseases. The report discusses our unique City & Guilds accredited dementia training programme, developed by national and international experts, which over 3,000 of our CAREGivers have completed.

We were also able to provide case studies for the report and our offices in Chesterfield and Clacton are featured as examples of innovation in reducing isolation for people living with dementia.

There are around 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia. By 2021, estimates suggest this may increase to over a million, presenting one of the biggest challenges to health and social care in the 21st Century.

It is a well-established fact that most people living with dementia would choose to remain at home, in familiar surroundings and with the people they love. The report considers key aspects of a ‘package’ of care and support for each person living with dementia at home, how it could be developed across the country and how it can be maintained as needs increase.

Trevor Brocklebank, CEO of Home Instead commented:

“We know from our own companionship-led model, that quality homecare for people living with dementia is absolutely vital. CAREGivers who understand the complex challenges that dementia presents and who have adequate time to care for their clients are essential. As a member of the group who put together this report I advocated strongly for a care approach that mirrors the Home Instead model, one that is tailored to each individual’s needs.”

Outlining the need for change, the report recommends several actions including:

·         Delivering a personalised approach focused on outcomes for the individual and their family

·         Ensuring sufficient time to deliver the care people living with dementia need, in the way they want

·         Giving greater flexibility for homecare providers to innovate and shape care with and for the individual

·         Developing research into caring for those with dementia, as well as into finding cures

We believe there is also a need to support family and friends who act as carers, so as well as providing specialist training for our CAREGivers, Home Instead also offers Alzheimer’s Family Workshops, free of charge. These workshops were featured in the report as another example of innovation, and are designed to go beyond the ‘awareness’ level offered by many dementia information programmes. They bring a practical element to dementia support that can be implemented immediately.

The response from the Government regarding the new report has been positive. Commenting on it, Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health said:

 

“We know that people with dementia want to live at home for as long as possible, and homecare is absolutely vital to supporting them in being able to do this. Driving quality and innovation in homecare will not only help us in meeting this ambition but also support the Government’s wider ambition for people to receive meaningful care following a diagnosis of dementia.”

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