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Dementia patients need to talk

3rd June 2008

The Commission for Social Care has said that patients who suffer from dementia are helped by speaking to the people who look after them.

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However it found that there was a lack of "communication between staff and patients" in around 25% of the 100 homes it surveyed.

The CSCI reported that speaking to other people could help to prevent patients from withdrawing.

The Commission worked with the University of Bradford to inspect how care home workers communicated with patients.

They looked at how 100 homes in England performed and discovered there was a "significant relationship" between contented patients and the amount of time they interacted with their environment.

The CSCI said 23 of the homes had "low levels of communication" where patients did not speak to staff for 50% of the time.

Over one fifth of patients were reported as spending time in a "withdrawn state". However over half were engaged in activity 75% of the time.

CSCI chief inspector Paul Snell said: "The quality of life for people with dementia living in care homes is hugely affected by the way in which care staff communicate and empathise with them."

He added that the Society's report showed the average care home resident with dementia was only able to speak to other people for two minutes every six hours.

Alzheimer's Society chief executive Neil Hunt said: "The standard of dementia care highlighted in this report is a national disgrace."

A Department of Health spokesperson said that people living in care homes had a right to "expect a high standard of care".

 

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