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Measuring intensity of care


Registered User
Apr 9, 2015
Hi I'm doing some initial research prior to studies on person-centred care and quality of life.

Ideally we would like to be able to describe the 'intensity of care' that someone receives. Is anyone aware of any type of scale to describe dementia care? For example I have seen the terms 'informal' and 'formal' care used - is there a more quantifiable scale available or does anyone have any suggestions for relevant terminology that would help focus my searches?

Many thanks,



Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Welcome to Talking Point.

You know, I'm not sure that formal and informal care really deals with intensity as such. Those terms tend to be used to describe paid care (the former) and family care (the latter). I think inevitably if you are talking about paid care it will be intense, in that you don't get a paid carer (either paid for by you or an LA) until needs are great, but that doesn't mean a family carer may not be providing equally intense care (in fact they mostly are). It just that a family carer might start out small when the person is first starting to need help (taking a person to the shops for example) but then progress up to and including 24/7 full-on care involving a person being essentially bed bound requiring continence care, feeding assistance and so on and so on.

Having said all that, paid care can just involve medication prompts and visits to ensure that the person has food available. So not that intense really.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
North Manchester
"...does anyone have any suggestions for relevant terminology that would help focus my searches?..."

If you do a search on stages of dementia you will find several documents classifying the progression in relation to the ability of the person to independent.

Reading these documents may help you come up with some generic terms describing the types and intensities of care required as the disease progresses.


Registered User
Feb 1, 2012
Surely I can’t be the only one irked by this kind of thing! Who are these people who want to describe the ‘intensity of care’, and why do they want to do it? As it happens I do have some suggestions for relevant terminology, but I doubt they would be allowed to stand.
A few sessions at the sharp end of dementia care would shed some much needed light on the concept of a quantifiable scale.


Registered User
Jan 20, 2006
How on earth do you measure care? Is one kind of care more important than another. Is physical care eg, washing someone more important than caring about someone's wellbeing eg, guiding, supervising, anticipating needs, keeping them safe, etc. A person with dementia should be looked as an individual and the whole picture taken into account and not divided up into task orientated care needs. Giving care is totally different fom caring.


Registered User
Mar 20, 2015
If you look up the criteria for Continuing Care Funding (widely posted elsewhere in the forum) These may help give you an idea of what qualifies as intense?

NB If you are looking for case studies we may make a good one for you!


Registered User
May 21, 2014
No offence but may I ask what this research is good for? To create another tick list that people might fail as their care is not deemed intensive enough? Surely person-centred care and quality of life can't be measured like that. Is me taking him to the cinema person-centred care to provide quality of life? Yes it is. Would it score highly on some intensity scale? Probably not.