Today, John’s Campaign is celebrating that all acute trusts in England have voluntarily signed up to the Campaign. In this blog, we celebrate what this means for people with dementia and their carers during a hospital stay.
Admission to hospital can be an anxiety provoking experience for anyone. For someone with dementia it can be particularly frightening: surrounded by strange noises, smells, people, equipment and routines. It can be disorientating, disruptive and scary.
The care of older people with dementia is a critical issue for hospitals. An estimated 850,000 people in the UK live with dementia and it is thought that around a quarter of all people in hospital have dementia.
Prevalence of dementia increases with age, as does the average length of time people spend in hospital if they’re admitted.
This means getting care right for people with dementia should be a central component of good hospital services. For a number of years the National Audit of Dementia has been examining how well hospitals are doing at meeting the needs of people with dementia and their families and carers.
In this guest blog, Chloe Snowdon, Deputy Programme Manager of the Audit, explains what they are looking for and how you can get involved.
As a Surrey resident working for Age UK, I felt quite confused and conflicted about how to vote in the prospective local referendum on a 15% council tax rise. On one hand, I really wasn’t happy about a huge hike in my bills but on the other hand through my work I am acutely aware of the enormous funding gap that has opened up in recent years between social care budgets and the growing number of people needing care and support. I felt grudgingly supportive of the leader of Surrey Council, David Hodge’s radical stance but not desperately keen on his solution.
Last week marked 2015’s Carers Week- a week dedicated to raising awareness about the vital role carers play in their community, and most importantly, a week dedicated to giving carers a treat.
The week, organised by Age UK and six other supporting organisations, focused this year on ‘building carer-friendly communities’. Each day had a theme of its own, with Older Carers Day falling on Friday 12 June. Carers Week this year fell helpfully within the first month of the new parliament, and only two months after the first round of Care Act regulations protecting carers’ rights were implemented for the first time- a hot topic of conversation throughout the week.
All in all, this year’s Carers Week was the most successful yet. The Parliamentary launch event which you can read about here, saw over 130 MPs meeting carers and finding out what it’s really like to care for a loved one on a daily basis. The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, even dropped in to an Older Carers Day Cream Tea in his constituency. He thanked the carers he got to meet, and commented on the importance of their role within Britain’s ageing society. We hope this will be the start of a positive and fruitful relationship with the new parliament as we work to make sure carers get the support they deserve.
Outside the political arena, other advances were made to improve the wellbeing of carers. Often caring can take a huge physical and emotional toll on the carer, so events like Carers Oxfordshire’s ‘Because I’m Worth It’ where older carers developed a wellbeing plan for themselves, are essential. Carers across the country were offered massages, free cakes at local cafes, and opportunities to have a chat with people who understand what it’s like to care. In addition, there were thousands of information and advice events- like Age UK Cheshire East’s information stand in a local Sainsbury’s – which are vital for making sure carers get the information they need to stay well. Keeping a carer well is, of course, linked to keeping the person they care for well, too.
At the final count before the week launched, over 2,200 individuals and organisations had signed up, there were 1,730 pledges of support and thousands of events set to take place around the UK- it seems there is no shortage of care for carers.
This week is Carers Week – a time to celebrate the contribution of the 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK. It is also the moment when several charities, including Age UK, come together to call for better support for carers.
Suzy shares her story of being a carer. In part 1, Suzy explained what it’s like to care for her mother with dementia. Today, she explains about the challenges of getting the support she needs.
The difficulties we face in caring for Mum come when we seek help from outside our home when the services that are offered seem to be one size fits all.
We have been offered respite care. This means Mum going into a local care home. This would mean Mum being away from us in a building she doesn’t know with people she doesn’t know.
Mum would not settle in this environment, I know that. We would also run the risk that Mum would not remember her own home on return from respite care.
This week is Carers Week – a time to celebrate the contribution of the 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK. It’s also the moment when several charities, including Age UK, come together to call for better support for carers.
In the first part of our 2-part blog, Suzy shares her story of what it’s like to be carer.
I am a carer for my Mum who is 67 years old and lives with dementia. Of course I wouldn’t normally describe myself as that; I’m just a daughter who loves her Mum.
I have a wonderful family who care for each other deeply. We all live together in Chepstow: Mum, Dad, my husband, 2 children and I in a multi-generational home.
You know how sometimes you look at your child/niece/nephew/grandchild and have a glimpse of how they are suddenly looking older, more grown up? Sometimes I look at Mum and see her gently moving further away in her dementia. Not every time I see her, just sometimes.