Cases of dementia are on the rise. Around 700,000 people in England have the disease c
urrently, and this figure is expected to increase to over a million by 2025.
Since the beginning of 2015, more than 1,000 people across the country have spoken to local Healthwatch about their experiences of dementia care – from the help provided by GPs to the support offered through hospitals and social care.
Local Healthwatch have also visited more than 120 care homes. They’ve spoken to patients themselves, as well as those providing support, such as care home staff and family carers, to find out what’s working well, and what could be improved.
The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the London School of Economics (LSE) has developed a web tool for accessing scientific evidence on dementia care and treatment.
Recently launched, the Dementia Evidence Toolkit is a unique resource bringing together over 3,000 empirical journal articles and 700 systematic reviews. Each of these articles and reviews is coded according to type of dementia, care setting, outcome measured, type of intervention and country of study or authors.
The summaries of interventions cover: advance care planning; staff training in assisted living residences (STAR); maintenance cognitive stimulation therapy; cognitive stimulation therapy; music therapy; and START: Strategies for Relatives. Each summary gives a rating for the intervention, focusing on the following: whether or not it worked, was cost-effective, and the strength of evidence. The Toolkit also suggests future research.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published statistics on dementia. These statistics focus on five strategic aspects of dementia care:
Living Well With Dementia.
Mortality Associated With Dementia.
There is evidence that some factors – particularly around cardiovascular risk – can impact on the risk of developing dementia. To have their greatest impact on reducing dementia risk these factors should be controlled throughout middle age (45-64).
Diagnosed prevalence increased from 643 per 100,000 in April 2014 to 755 per 100,000 in December 2015, which is 423,000 diagnoses out of 56.0m registered patients.
39 per cent of carers spent 100 or more hours each week looking after or caring for a person with dementia, with 52 per cent spending 50 hours or more per week.
Looking at all records from April 2012 to March 2015;
The median time for progression between ‘moderate need’ and ‘high need’ is 3 years and 2 months.
The median time for progression between ‘high need’ and ‘high physical need of engagement’ is 2 years and 9 months.
Dementia and mortality
The results of the survival analysis provide a median survival time of 3 years 6 months, from when patients are first assessed as having ‘cognitive impairment or dementia at moderate need’.