HEALTH: Lack of Dementia Training

A lack of training for home care workers is leaving people with dementia in soiled clothing, without food or water or in hospitals and care homes when they should be at home, an investigation by the The Alzheimer’s Society has revealed. It highlighted a catalogue of failures by insufficiently trained home care workers which is resulting in poor care for those with dementia.

This includes not properly supporting people to eat or take medication, leaving people in dirty clothes for days or unwashed for weeks. Those with dementia are also getting infections which are not identified by staff resulting in emergency hospital admission. Some workers’ lack of dementia care training is also forcing people to move into care homes because home care workers cannot cope with people’s needs.

The investigation into home care training involving research by the charity and the trade union Unison which reveals that although more than 400,000 people with dementia receive home care from 520,000 home care workers, over one third (38 per cent) of home care workers have no dementia training.

Some 43 per cent of home care workers have asked for further dementia training, however in more than half (54 per cent) of cases this was turned down.

Of the majority of workers (71 per cent) that do receive dementia training, it is not accredited, research by the charity and Skills for Care discovered.

The investigation into home care training involved 700 responses from home care workers to a Unison survey, research by Skills for Care, Freedom of Information (FOI) request responses from 119 local authorities in England, and a survey of 1,220 people affected by dementia.

The charity’s survey of those affected by dementia reveals 98 per cent of people surveyed say home care workers do not have enough dementia training. Some 86 per cent of home care workers agreed that further dementia training would help them to provide better care for people with dementia.

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