Nine actions to improve dementia care in the community, have been developed by care providers, commissioners, regulators and health sector partners published this week all urged to take action. A new report that demonstrates how skilled homecare can play a pivotal role in enabling people living with dementia and their family to live well at home (note 1).
United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), the professional organisation for domiciliary care providers, has released the report ‘Dementia & Homecare: Driving Quality & Innovation’, as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia. The report seeks to provide clear, practical guidance and examples of innovative practice to further dementia care in the community, and what is required to spread these examples across the sector.
The nine actions for change include (note 2):
- Delivering a personalised approach focused on outcomes for the individual and their family;
- Ensuring sufficient time to deliver the care people living with dementia need, in the way they want;
- Giving greater flexibility for homecare providers to innovate and shape care with and for the individual.
Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, said:
“We know that people with dementia want to live at home for as long as possible, and homecare is absolutely vital to supporting them in being able to do this. Driving quality and innovation in homecare will not only help us in meeting this ambition but also support the Government’s wider ambition for people to receive meaningful care following a diagnosis of dementia.”
George McNamara,Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
“Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community and many rely on receiving care at home to live from day-to-day. This guidance marks a step change in the way homecare should be approached. Good quality, personalised care that is delivered in a flexible and timely manner should not be a privilege, but a right. These actions for change will give homecare workers the confidence to deliver vital, quality care and give people with dementia much needed assurance.”
A recent YouGov poll for Alzheimer’s Society (note 3) found 85% of people would want to stay at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia. If the number of people living with dementia continues to rise as expected, there will be more than 1million people living at home with the condition by 2020 (note 4). It is estimated that two thirds of people with dementia live at home and that more than a third receive personal care from professional homecare workers, which would equate to about 280,000 people (note 5). Homecare providers estimate that some 60% of people using their service have some form of dementia (note 6), although many do not have a formal diagnosis.
The report was drawn up by a homecare subgroup from the Department of Health’s Dementia Health and Care Champion Group, part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, a multi-disciplinary group, all with a shared commitment to improving the experience of people living with dementia and their families (note 7). This included family carers, policy makers, homecare providers and dementia specialists. The group sought the views of people living with dementia to shape output.
Notes for reference:
- The nine ‘actions for change’ in the report:
- Champion homecare as the key facilitator of dementia care and information
- Deliver a personalised approach focused on outcomes for the individual and their family
- Give greater flexibility for homecare providers to innovate and shape care with and for the individual
- Recognise and realise the value of homecare to reduce risk and lessen the negative impact of dementia progression
- Prioritise homecare as a cost effective form of intervention
- Ensure sufficient time to deliver the care people with dementia need, in the way they want
- Develop consistent and reliable homecare services
- Help providers to implement & experiment with technology
- Develop research on care, as well as cure
- Alzheimer’s Society and YouGov (2014), “Most people want to stay at home if diagnosed with dementia but less than half know how”. Available at: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/press_article.php?pressReleaseID=1138
- Figure based on projections from Alzheimer’s Society on the number of people living with dementia (“Dementia UK: Update, Second edition” http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?fileID=2323) and the estimate that two thirds of people living with dementia are based at home (see below).
- Alzheimer’s Society (2011), “Support, stay, save”. Available at: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?fileID=1030
- United Kingdom Homecare Association (2013), “Dementia Strategy and Plan”. Available at http://www.ukhca.co.uk/pdfs/UKHCADementiaStrategy201202final.pdf
- The subgroup membership consisted of:
- Bridget Warr (Chair) – United Kingdom Homecare Association
- Dominic Carter – UKHCA
- Jeremy Hughes – Alzheimer’s Society
- Bruce Bovill – Carer
- Charles Alessi – National Association of Primary Care
- Dominique Kent – The Good Care Group
- Mike Smith – Trinity Homecare
- Trevor Brocklebank – Home Instead Senior Care
- Sarah Pickup – Hertfordshire County Council
- Jill Rassmussen– Royal College of General Practitioners
- Simon Morris – Jewish Care
- Alan Rosenbach – Care Quality Commission
- Richard Kelly – Public Health England
- Rajbant Kaur –Department of Health
- United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,200 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. UKHCA’s mission, as a member-led professional association, is to promote high quality, sustainable care services so that people can continue to live at home and in their local community.
- Homecare encompasses provision of personal care to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the alternative of choice for people who would otherwise need to move into residential accommodation.
- The majority of homecare is funded by the state (usually by local council social services departments, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), or Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland). However, homecare services are largely delivered by independent and voluntary sector providers working under contracts with the statutory sector.