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Occupational therapists providing support for people with dementia will be called upon to give their patients more direct control over their own care.
New guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have outlined the need for people with dementia to be actively involved in discussions about their care strategy, reflecting the highly individual nature of the condition and the fact it affects different people and their families in varying ways.
Currently, everyone diagnosed with dementia is required to have an individual care plan that is reviewed at least once a year. However, Age UK have found one in three people with the condition do not have such a plan, while data from more than 7,000 GP practices in England showed that out of 450,000 people diagnosed with dementia in November 2017, less than 300,000 had undergone a care review in the preceding year.
As such, the new NICE guidelines call on professionals from across the health and social care spectrum to focus on addressing this, recommending that the patient, their family and carers are involved as directly as possible.
The guidance also underlines the importance of properly considering when and how often the plan is reviewed, and that progress towards the stated objectives is evaluated and recorded during each of these reviews.
These recommendations align with the current government strategy for dementia care and the recently published guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care on what to expect from health and care services after a diagnosis of dementia.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE, said: "The new NICE guideline highlights the need to properly train staff and says that carers should be helped to improve support for people living with dementia.
"The recommendations focus on person-centred support, placing a particular emphasis on involving people with dementia in every decision about the care they receive."
Written by Alex Franklin Stortford
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