Introduction Dementia is predominantly a disease of later life but there are at least 15 000 people under 65yrs who have the illness. Symptom relief is often missed as these patients are unable to communicate effectively.
Aims of the Project
Improve the quality of End of life Care for people who are diagnosed with dementia admitted to hospital
Increase the awareness of staff caring for these patients
Promote advance care planning for people with dementia
Support families of people suffering from dementia with decision making
Methods A flow chart was designed and coloured to reflect the local End of Life Care Model. There was close liaison with trust staff about developments in dementia care within the acute setting and teaching materials were developed to train staff on caring for patients with dementia in their last days of life.
Results The Trust collated results from the dementia screening tool used to asses every patient over 75yrs; it demonstrated an Increase in knowledge for staff in trust to recognise dementia as a terminal disease.
Discussion The project aimed to support patients with dementia from diagnosis to bereavement. The work was a collaboration between the Acute Trust and local hospice services. Work streams were formed to develop care pathways, integrated working and shared learning. The trust adopted the butterfly scheme which the CNS team promoted when visiting patients with dementia and raise awareness of importance of advanced care planning for these patients.
Conclusion Improving the knowledge of staff around caring for patients that are dying who have dementia improves their ability to effectively observe and manage symptoms, improves the quality of care and job satisfaction whilst improving outcomes and relieving distress for patients and families.
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