Nurses must be instilled with greater confidence to speak about the terminal nature of dementia with patients and carers, researchers have warned as a new study shows too many professionals are avoiding the subject.
The research, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found that three out of five specialists from memory services did not routinely tell family carers that dementia is a fatal condition.
Memory clinics assess and diagnose dementia and provide information and support to patients and those who look after them at home. They are usually staffed by a multi-disciplinary team including doctors, specialist dementia nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists.
The study found that, while health professionals routinely talked to families about legal arrangements such as finances (74%) and referred to dementia as being progressive (89%), just 41% routinely discussed the terminal nature of the condition.
To see the full story visit the Nursing Times website.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia (APPG) is holding an inquiry into dementia and disability.
What is the APPG?
among parliamentarians and influence policy making in order to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
The APPG on Dementia is currently holding an inquiry into dementia and disability. It is looking at what people think about dementia as a disability, what barriers people affected by dementia face in society and what can be done to make sure people with dementia are treated equally. The APPG launched a written call for evidence to gather people’s thoughts on this topic, which received a record number of responses.
Gathering evidence about dementia and disability
Last month saw the oral evidence session for the inquiry. Both the written and oral evidence are currently being analysed and will feed into a report due to be published next year.
To find out more about the APPG visit the Alzheimer’s Society website.
The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. In vascular dementia, these symptoms occur when the brain is damaged because of problems with the supply of blood to the brain.
These pages outline the causes, types and symptoms of vascular dementia. It looks at how it is diagnosed and the factors that can put someone at risk of developing it. It also describes the treatment and support that are available.
Causes of vascular dementia
Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels.
To be healthy and function properly, brain cells need a constant supply of blood to bring oxygen and nutrients. Blood is delivered to the brain through a network of vessels called the vascular system. If the vascular system within the brain becomes damaged – so that the blood vessels leak or become blocked – then blood cannot reach the brain cells and they will eventually die.
This death of brain cells can cause problems with memory, thinking or reasoning. Together these three elements are known as cognition. When these cognitive problems are bad enough to have a significant impact on daily life, this is known as vascular dementia.
For more information visit the Alzheimers website.