This is a response to the NICE Guidelines on ‘Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers’ published in June 2018.
In June 2018 NICE, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published guidance on ‘Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers’. This guideline is an update of the NICE guideline on dementia (2006) and replaces it. This guideline covers diagnosing and managing dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease)(I would delete this) . It aims to improve care by making recommendations on training staff and helping carers to support people living with dementia. This guideline includes recommendations on: involving people living with dementia, both in decisions about their care assessment and diagnosis; interventions to promote cognition, independence and wellbeing; pharmacological interventions; managing non-cognitive symptoms; supporting carers; and staff training and education.
At tide we welcome the implementation of this guidance, particularly the sections on supporting carers. We are acutely aware that caring for someone with dementia can, at times, be challenging, isolating and exhausting and research shows that carers of people living with dementia often face more stress than other carers. This situation is often aggravated by the need to navigate a maze like system of health and social care. These guidelines make it very clear what carers can, and should, be expecting from the health and care services, and professionals, that they interact with. Some of the recommendations put forward on behalf of carers are:
- The offer for carers of people living with dementia of a psychoeducation and skills training intervention.
- Support tailored to the needs and preferences of carers, provided in a suitable format and at a suitable location.
- Advise carers about their right to a formal assessment of their own needs (known as a ‘Carer’s Assessment’), including their physical and mental health and assist them in getting one.