Dementia care home diagnosis

Theme 2

Ageing and Dementia

The problem:
There is a national drive to improve the proportion of people who have a confirmed diagnosis of dementia. The prevalence of dementia in care homes is poorly documented, and it is unclear whether there is a disproportionately low diagnosis rate.

Who should diagnose dementia in this group, and how best to do it remains uncertain. There is little data on what constitutes good post-diagnostic support in this setting. 

The solution:
We have developed a toolkit for dementia diagnosis in a care-home setting. This is being implemented in care homes in Wessex. We are also surveying care home managers and using available data sources to identify the scale of the dementia diagnosis gap in care homes. 

The outcomes:

The Dementia Diagnosis Toolkit was trialled with 54 care home residents referred for memory assessment . Similar numbers of referrals were received from care homes and residential homes.

The toolkit has met its objectives which included:

  • Improved communication of an existing dementia diagnosis between a GP and a care home 
  • Improved opportunity for memory assessment for care home residents 
  • Improved opportunity for GPs to make a diagnosis of dementia where clinically appropriate 
  • Improved opportunity for the quality of personalised care for care home residents 
The end of project report is available to download with full details of Phase 2 of the Dementia pathway redesign - The Dementia Toolkit
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