We went to a meeting at my Dad's Home last night. Someone was there who is going to liaise between Care Homes and Hospitals because people in Homes are not getting access to services that they would when living in their own home. We were asked what services we might need, but until a situation arises, isn't that a bit of a hypothetical question? She also mentioned the fact that GP's are more reluctant (my word, not hers) to visit Homes and that it might work better if there was one doctor who visited every patient in the Home all at once, instead of individuals having different doctors visiting different days/times. This sounds reasonable and I can't see why this isn't done already, unless someone can see a downside? There was a discussion of bad experiences of hospitals, and how they are not at all geared up for people with mental illness etc. (How long do we have to keep just talking about it?) There was also talk about GP's and how sometimes their level of awareness is also sadly lacking. Coincidentally, my Dad's GP had been to see Dad the day before, and, also coincidentally, Mum happened to arrive at the Home at the same time as the GP. Someone suggested that Mum went over to sit with Dad and the GP (Mum wouldn't have thought of it herself, and wasn't invited to by the doctor - even though she'd made clear to him who she was). The doctor did ask Mum how she found Dad, and when she mentioned that he sometimes spits out his medication, the doctor turned to Dad and said to him, "You must take your medication" - how farcial - as if Dad would understand what 'medication' meant, or that he would miraculously remember this conversation at pill-taking time and obey his command! Am I being super-sensitive here? Is my Dad the only one with dementia who wouldn't understand/remember what the doctor said? Was the doctor only saying what he thought he should say because he didn't know what else to say? (Trying to be fair to the doctor here!) Surely it does not take a genius to see that even some rudimental training in mental illness/dementia should be given to GP's and indeed, all health professionals. If it is already given, then it does not appear to be working in lots of cases! The woman who attended the meeting did mention that doctors do have some kind of ongoing training sessions that they attend, so couldn't dementia, its possible effects and 'things-not-to-say' be one of those sessions? Couldn't they invite carers (professional or otherwise) to speak at these sessions to give them a better idea of how not to talk to someone with dementia - and to their carers?! There was also a worrying situation was put forward by the staff, where a Mental Health doctor had prescribed medication for one resident, then their GP had visited and wanted to change this (to a cheaper one). The staff had to fight against this. I can understand if it was sleeping tablets etc. but can this be right - that GP's have the authority to change medication prescribed by a consultant in the Mental Health field? Too many questions I know, and perhaps I'm just too impatient for change, but when will some common sense prevail and some real action to address these issues take place? Is it just training needed or do we need some kind of social shift of understanding before anything can truly change? I've put this in the research, students and professionals section, hoping that it may reach the people who might be able to do something about it because us carers just seem to be ignored and shoo-ed away over and over again.