In general people are living much longer these days, which should be great news for us all. It does have its problems though.
It has led many governments to increasing the retirement age. An increasingly aged population can put a strain of government coffers and services. It also has other negative issues.
One is Dementia.
Dementia is not just associated with great age, but it often occurs in one form or another as we age. This means that the news which shows that Dementia patients in the UK are often being failed by the NHS, National Health Service, will probably be relevant to you sooner or later.
It may be your Mum, Dad, Sister, Grandad or even yourself that one day is lost in the fog of dementia. Treatments are improving but there is no cure as yet, for Dementia. Some medications will slow its advance but currently the odds are that the condition will worsen in time.Having worked, albeit in an administration role, on a UK, NHS medical elderly ward today's news does not surprise. Over the last coupe of years there have been calls to improve this care. These days elderly patients fill a large number of UK hospital inpatient beds. This number will increase over the Holiday period, for many reasons.
For the first time ever The Royal College of Psychiatrists has carried out an audit of 210 UK hospitals. This review has declared that the Hospital care is safe but lacking. It seems NHS hospital care for such cases often fails by:
The NHS has a useful website aimed at assessing the signs dementia. As with all such health conditions early diagnosis and treatment is vital. It may stave off full blown dementia for some time and should help the person's quality of life remain stable, or even improve. Here is a little of the site's advice:
What signs should I look for?
Dementia is not a single illness but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the brain. The symptoms include:
What should I do? If you’re worried about someone who is showing the signs above, encourage them to visit their GP to get a proper diagnosis.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog