A report by a leading Dementia charity has revealed that some patients have been manhandled or even handcuffed to beds, whilst others have been branded criminals because of their behaviour.

The Alzheimer’s Society carried out a detailed surveys of 574 relatives and carers and synthesised this with disclosures they had obtained from hospitals they had obtained through freedom of information requests to health trusts.

Nine in ten of those interviewed said hospitals were frightening for loved ones. Six in ten said staff did not treat patients with dignity. The report also revealed that:

  • At least two dementia patients a day suffer falls in hospital;
  • Confused patients are manhandled by staff including security guards; 

One woman interviewed said she had when she arrived at the hospital she found her elderly father handcuffed to his bed. She was told by staff that he had knocked over some equipment and there was the possibility that he be charged for criminal damage. ‘I was appalled,’ she said. ‘My father is a sick man but they were treating him like a criminal. It was ridiculous.’

According to the Alzheimer's Society there are around 800,000 people in the UK with dementia. One in three people over 65 will develop dementia, and two-thirds of people with dementia are women.

The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer. It is estimated that by 2021, the number of people with dementia in the UK will have increased to around 1 million.

Chris Knight, SecuriCare’s Head of Social Care Training said, “It’s clear from the report that episodes of ‘Challenging behaviour’ are being mismanaged.  This is likely to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding about the root cause of the behaviour. Labels like ‘aggressive’ and ‘violent’ are used to describe behaviour that is actually born of fear and confusion. What’s required is for staff to be provided with a framework that enables them to better understand and manage such episodes of behaviour. A measured, empathetic and supportive response that works would be the aim of a comprehensive training programme, such as the ones we offer…”

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to provide support workers with the knowledge and skills required to provide sensitive support to individuals with a diagnosis of Dementia. These include An Introduction to Ageing (Online), Working with Dementia (Classroom) and Working Positively with Dementia and Challenging Behaviour.

Our courses are developed by a team comprising PhD and Masters’ Graduate Nurses with a combined 50 years of practice in Health and Social Care.

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: trainers@securicare.com or T: 01904 492442

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