Care home owner calls for change

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A care home owner is calling on the Government to make dementia-friendly design compulsory across the care sector, to give the UK’s 800,000 sufferers a better quality of life.

John Fisher of Esk Hall Care Home in Sleights, and one of the joint partners behind the new 50-bed care home being built on Waterstead Lane, believes the Government’s recently-published Care Bill and this week’s pledge to close the gap between health and social care does not go far enough to drive up standards and improve quality of life for dementia sufferers. He said: “There are 322,000 people with dementia living in care homes and according to research from the Alzheimer’s Society fewer than half of them enjoy a good quality of life. That’s a shocking statistic, when there are simple ways to create living environments geared to their very specific needs.”

“Research shows that there is so much that can be done to help people with this distressing condition cope, especially when they lose the ability to make sense of their surroundings.

“Providing good care that is based around individual needs is not about simply making sure people are warm enough and fed an adequate diet. I am concerned that because the Dementia Week research shows many people have low expectations of care homes they are settling for average care when they should not have to.

“People living in care homes have the right to live safe, happy lives and so much more can be done if there is the will to do it. But driving standards up throughout the care industry means applying legislation and I am concerned that the recent Care Bill, which simply asks care homes to sign up to the Dementia Care and Support Compact, does not go far enough when it comes to caring for people with dementia.”