Care Home 'Jail' for Dementia Patients; Report Exposes Shameful Treatment of Vulnerable OAPs

Daily Mail (London), May 29, 2009 | Go to article overview
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Care Home 'Jail' for Dementia Patients; Report Exposes Shameful Treatment of Vulnerable OAPs


Byline: Alan Roden Scottish Political Reporter

SCOTS pensioners with dementia are being 'imprisoned' in their care homes, according to a new report.

It exposes the shameful treatment of society's most vulnerable people.

A series of random, unannounced inspections of 30 care homes across Scotland found evidence of appalling standards, with pensioners illegally plied with drugs hidden in their food to make them easier to manage.

The Care Commission and the Mental Welfare Commission, joint partners in the study, also found poor medicine records, a lack of staff training and an unwillingness to learn a patient's life history.

The sum total of one record was: 'Likes cats; likes milk.'

The study found half of all residents never left their care home - and only a tiny minority could come and go in secure internal gardens. Many are often locked in their rooms.

Susan Brimelow, the Care Commission's director of healthcare regulation, said: 'Older people living with dementia are among the most vulnerable people in society.

'Care homes should ensure that they give people with dementia the good quality care they need to live as independently as they can and to lead as meaningful a life as possible.

'There is some uncomfortable reading in this report but we must highlight what needs to change if we are to get improvement.

'We hope this report will raise awareness about best practice and ensure a multi-agency commitment to help care homes, doctors, pharmacists, health boards and local authorities to deliver the quality of care that everyone with dementia has the right to expect.'

Some 67,000 people in Scotland have dementia and about 40 per cent are in care.

The inspections were carried out between August 2008 and March 2009.

Among the findings were that 75 per cent of residents were taking 'psycho-active' drugs - for behavioural problems, depression or insomnia - and many had been on the same medication for long periods with no regular reviews.

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Care Home 'Jail' for Dementia Patients; Report Exposes Shameful Treatment of Vulnerable OAPs
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