Health and social care seems to feature in the news headlines every week of late what with the reorganisation of the NHS, the Prime Ministers ‘Dementia Challenge’ and then there are those headlines that shame us all where evidence of abuse of those most vulnerable in our society is uncovered. It is easy in the light of these ‘scandals’ to lose sight of the fact that the majority of the health and social care workforce provide compassionate and professional care.
However we do have to ask ourselves what it will take to change attitudes towards caring for others so that it is held in high regard and rewarded accordingly. As our population grows older some of the issues that have been avoided for too long such as paying for and adequately resourcing long term care will have to be addressed. Despite two major government reports into this issue (The Royal Commission on Long Term Care of the Elderly (1997-98) and the Dilnot Report 2011) making clear recommendations for a way forward there is still no firm decision about how we resolve this question.
In the meantime the challenge presented by an increasingly ageing population and the resultant increase in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia. It is estimated that in less than 10 years there will be 1 million people with dementia in England (there is currently 670,000). At present a quarter of all hospital beds are occupied by someone with dementia. The challenge for those of us in the sector is to ensure we have the knowledge and skills to understand the best ways to care for and support people with dementia with the dignity and respect that is surely their due.
So here’s a way for YOU to start making a difference to people with dementia and their carers today… just log on and learn.
Social Care Institute for Excellence e-learning resource
The Alzheimer’s Society website great for factsheets about all things related to dementia
Find out more about the Dementia Challenge at: