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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Cumbria's Alzheimer's Society joins care home campaign

A new campaign has been launched to ensure minimum standards in residential care homes.

Caroline Burden photo
Caroline Burden

A report by the Alzheimer’s Society has found that 71 per cent of people in the north west would be fairly or very scared about going into a care home.

Entitled Low Expectations, the report also reveals that while three-quarters of relatives would recommend their loved one’s care home, less than half say they have a good quality of life.

The charity claims that at least 80 per cent of care home residents have dementia or severe memory problems and, with more than 63,600 places available at 2,137 care homes in the region, it wants the Government to do more to ensure minimum standards and more effective regulation.

Caroline Burden, area manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Cumbria, said: “We know there is plenty of excellent quality care in residential care homes, but our research has found that people have very low expectations of what a care home will offer and many are scared of ever living in one.

“Too often we hear that people with dementia in care homes don’t have the opportunity for regular and meaningful social interaction and activities of their choice.

“Care homes shouldn’t be seen as an isolated place of last resort, but as part of the wider community. They should be championing the fact that with the right support, it is possible to live well with dementia.”

To support the report, Alzheimer’s Society recently released two new tools to help those choosing a care home and those caring for people with dementia in care homes.

The ‘Handy Guide to Selecting a Care Home’ and care home staff leaflet ‘This is Me’ were released in January.

Both tools are available as free downloads at www.alzheimers.org.uk/lowexpectations

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