Dementia-ism: the denial of equitable care for those living with dementia

Howard, David and Walsh, Danny (2014) Dementia-ism: the denial of equitable care for those living with dementia. In: Nowe technologie medycne a standardowa opieka zdrowtna, 5-6 June 2014, Lublin, Poland.

__ddat01_staffhome_bjones_RDS_Desktop_Polish Justice in healthcare conference2.pdf
__ddat01_staffhome_bjones_RDS_Desktop_Polish Justice in healthcare conference2.pdf - Abstract
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] Microsoft PowerPoint
__ddat01_staffhome_bjones_RDS_Desktop_poster.ppt - Presentation
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
Item Status:Live Archive


There is widespread age discrimination within mental health services in the UK with dementia care comparing poorly to other cohorts. This long history of inequality, poor care and the lack of political willingness to confront it led to a lack of funding to the degree that dementia care falls far short of the standards other groups receive.

The inequity can be partially blamed upon ageism but overlying this issues is a further layer of stigma around dementia, hence the term dementia-ism. Not only do we see this in relation to people living with dementia but in the poor levels of support for their carers. Most UK long-term care for dementia has moved from state provision to a means tested private sector. This can be interpreted as a wholesale abandonment by the statutory services. The requirement to make a profit results in care levels which often only meet basic standards with minimum staffing levels, reliance on non-permanent agency staff and over use of anti psychotic drugs.

Poor funding is usually accompanied by a reduction in training. Even in the state funded general hospital system, where 25% of the beds are occupied by patients with dementia, staff receive little training in specialist dementia care. Poor training also results in symptoms not being recognised and it is estimated that over 60% of those with dementia in primary care fail to receive a diagnosis during the early stages of the condition; where treatment would be more successful. The lack of a cure for dementia also reflects the inequity with little spent upon research compared to other illnesses whose prevalence rates are much lower.

To help address these inequalities we collaborate with the local health community and its users. This has resulted in a dementia awareness programme that is integrated within the training of all nurses at the University of Lincoln. We focus on the recognition of symptoms to allow an early diagnosis to be made, supporting patients and carers and we have developed a simulation laboratory where students are able to experience a range of contemporary treatments.

Keywords:dementia, Social Policy, Ageism
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B700 Nursing
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B760 Mental Health Nursing
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
Related URLs:
ID Code:14310
Deposited On:13 Jun 2014 08:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page