Dementia patients in hospital

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Our campaign to improve the treatment of people with dementia in hospital is at last beginning to take effect.

I have this week received a copy of the proposed schedule for the training of 'Dementia Champions'. These will be nurses from each area of the hospital, who will receive extra training, and will take their knowledge and experience back to their ward and train others.

The course starts next month, and between then and December there will be 11 days of training. I'm delighted to see that one day will be devoted to interaction with carers, and carers will be invited to take part. (Haven't been invited yet, but will be mad if I'm not!)

They will also spend some time in day centres, probably the one John goes to.

One day looks very interesting, it's called Action Planning, and the nurses will be asked to put forward a problem thay have encountered, and the group, with the help of the facilitators, will discuss strategies for dealing with it. I'd love to be in on that one!

The stated aims of the course are:

After participation in the course and action learning sets the Champion will be able to:

• Apply the principles of Person Centred Care with particular demonstration of understanding, caring and kindness.
• Discuss and apply an understanding of the different dementia type illnesses and how this may impact upon a person, their carers and wider community.
• Facilitate clear communication with carers/families and person during the person’s journey.
• Discuss and apply a current approach to the delivery of the fundamentals of care.
• Discuss and apply an understanding of the ethical implications of caring for people with a dementia type illness
• Demonstrate through initiating changes in the clinical area, a raised awareness of environmental stressors and barriers for the person with a dementia type illness.
• Plan and implement dissemination of the information from the course with the aim of promoting demonstrable best practice for people with a dementia type illness.
It really sounds brilliant. I do hope it works.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,374
Kent
Skye said:
It really sounds brilliant. I do hope it works.

So do I, Hazel.

It`s not often we see a campaign turn into a reality. Congratulations to all involved and every success to the training course.

Love xx
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I also hope it works, and becomes standard in all hospitals. Something certainly needs to be done: it sometimes seems as hospital staff have never seen a person with dementia before.

Jennifer
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
Congratulations! Wonderful to see the campaign translated into positive action.
The more awareness there is in hospitals, the better the care for "our" patients, the easier it is on us Carers, and the hospital staff should be less pressured. A win-win situation as they say. Great news!!
 

DeborahBlythe

Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
9,222
Well done Hazel, that's really impressive. My mum had a fairly dismal time in hospital but it was the 'wanderers' on the ward that I really felt sorry for. Some of them had no visitors and I witnessed some really depressing verbal outbursts from the staff prompted, I guess, by frustration and the pressure to keep track of them. You've worked so hard, you must be very pleased. It's great to see things taking shape now on such an important area of dementia care. Love
 

Lucille

Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
542
Hazel, well done!

I'm chuffed to bits for you. Something positive out of the shared negative experiences we've all encountered - brilliant work! :D :D
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
Hi everyone,
Last month I went on a course with my wife sponsored by the General Medical Council and the Alzheimers Society and as guests we were there to watch what was happening at a session which was acted out in a Doctors surgery and a hospital ward. The actors were professionals and were given advice on what they should be doing, and this was brilliant because it got people fired up, with the lack of knowledge the medical people have when it comes to Dementia, and I can tell you that I was absolutely livid with the comments of some so called Doctors. To me the worst people that I came across were to arogant Hospital Doctors, who thought that a person with Dementia should be in full control of his or her thoughts at all times. This even involved the signing of a consent form, which as many will know is not a straight forward thing to sign, without understanding what you are doing and yet some of these people failed to grasp the fact that it is a difficult thing for people with Dementia to do. They also failed to grasp that fact that many people who have Dementia feel stressed and out on a limb when they are in a place like a hospital, because it is like it or not, very frightening, and it is not your own environment, so everything is different, but they insisted that they should be able to consult the person with Dementia without a carer or family member being present. I really think that they can not understand that fact that we need a familar and friendly face in front of us to make us relax. But I think the worst of it is that many of these people do not want to know about Dementia, because they can not and have not got the patients to sit down and work out how to handle it. Perhaps one day a course will be designed that will teach Doctors the basics of Dementia, and then that can be passed on to Nurses and others. I was in Hospital tonight to visit my wife, and I was absolutely terrified of the place with its long endless corridors with so many doors going each way, it was absolute hell, and I can understand how people who are in the mid to later stages really feel about those places, and I used to work in one myself for a few years.
But having said that I am very pleased with what you have done, and it is people like you that make all the difference
We live in hope.

Best Wishes

Ken
 
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Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Ken, that sounds like a really good course.

Sadly, the ignorance is widespread, even among specialists, which is horrifying. At a recent meeting with consultants, carers and AD professionals, one of the psychiatric consultants had great difficulty in understanding why the carer should be involved in devising the care plan. He really thought it was sufficient for the social worker to be involved!

We are plugging away at it here, though. I'm now involved in training sessions with doctors and nurses, and we're gradually making a difference. I think this Dementia Champions scheme is an excellent one, and I've been asked to take part in the training.
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
Hi Hazel,

I think the sooner these people realise that the carers have more expertise than many doctors and social workers the better. Carers are in the front line and have to be taken notice of, because it is not a day job like these other people. If they had to look after someone as you do, they would soon understand what was needed. If I am right a Doctor only spends 5% of their training covering Dementia which isn't a lot, so perhaps they really need to spend more time training in this subject.

Best Wishes

Ken
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Ken I wasn't sure from your post whether you found it worthwhile because these misconceptions were straightened out and the doctors learnt something, or if you felt the excercise was a bit pointless because they retained their prejudices.

Jennifer
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,374
Kent
Well done Hazel.

You are being constructive in the education of professionals.

They will not be getting it from text books, but `straight from the horse`s mouth`. It`s the only way.
 

KenC

Registered User
Mar 24, 2006
913
Co Durham
Hi Jennifer,

I found it a very good exercise and some of the Doctors said that they had learnt a lot about Dementia and how to treat people who have it.
But as usual there were a few who looked down there noses, and tried to belittle everything that was said about people taking their carer s with them, and the need to have a carer there during the consultation.
We also had an eminent Professor of Psychiatry with us, who had a struggle to teach Doctors what to do. I think these Doctors are in a world of their own a will not come out of it until they are ready.

Still one day we will break the ice and get through to them.
Best Wishes

Ken
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,374
Kent
Hi Ken,

If a doctor doesn`t understand why someone with Alzheimers needs to take a carer with them, it shows how much they don`t know.

Don`t they understand one of the basic symptoms of Alzheimers is memory loss?

If some of these doctors are in a world of their own, we need to make sure they come out of it ASAP.

I always understood medicine to be a `caring profession`.

Take care xx
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Hazel .

Is the training going to be Nation wide in UK ?

I have this week received a copy of the proposed schedule for the training of 'Dementia Champions'. These will be nurses from each area of the hospital, who will receive extra training, and will take their knowledge and experience back to their ward and train others.

The course starts next month, and between then and December there will be 11 days of training.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
It's just Dumfries and Galloway at the moment, Maggie, but it may be adopted throughout Scotland.

I believe there are similar schemes in some areas in England. Anyone know of them?
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
KenC said:
Hi Jennifer,

I found it a very good exercise and some of the Doctors said that they had learnt a lot about Dementia and how to treat people who have it.
But as usual there were a few who looked down there noses, and tried to belittle everything that was said about people taking their carer s with them, and the need to have a carer there during the consultation.
We also had an eminent Professor of Psychiatry with us, who had a struggle to teach Doctors what to do. I think these Doctors are in a world of their own a will not come out of it until they are ready.

Still one day we will break the ice and get through to them.
Best Wishes

Ken

Ah I see - a mixed bag. Well, I think if even one doctor learns something it's a worthwhile exercise, although it's a pity they can't ALL learn something.

Jennifer