John Ramsay’s thoughts for World Alzheimer’s Day 2021
This World Alzheimer’s Day, I’m reflecting on the challenges those in the care sector face and the extent to which these challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and a health and social care sector under so much obvious strain.
Despite the challenges, the levels of commitment we see from the care teams around the country is incredible and hugely inspiring to us as a team.
Sadly, the past eighteen months have left a devastating legacy. The impact on care staff, family relationships and individuals’ well-being is significant. It’s been reported that 1 in 10 dementia cases have gone undiagnosed due to the pandemic. This comes at a time where social care and those who work within it are already stretched, many of who are at or near to breaking point. This comes on the back of experts’ estimating that global cases could triple by 2050.
Whilst this has been exacerbated by Covid-19, it’s not simply a “pandemic problem”.
Our own research carried out this month shows that nearly half of people surveyed weren’t confident in recognising symptoms of dementia. Two thirds of respondents also said they couldn’t distinguish between symptoms of dementia and those commonly associated with old age.
As a result, loneliness is a growing epidemic and is experienced by those both in care and living in the wider community. Worryingly, a third of people living with dementia said they felt lonely pre-pandemic and the estimated 50,000 missed cases, will only be adding to the problem.
Tackling this issue should be one of this country’s next big priorities.
As the social care sector’s reforms have recently come under greater scrutiny, at long last, sadly the policies and extra funding announced earlier this month have done little to reassure any of us that these serious and challenging topics are receiving the priority which they merit and so badly need.
As Managing Director of a business working to support those working in care, from NHS nurses and physiotherapists to care staff and activity coordinators in care homes, we’re committed to improving the well-being of those living with cognitive and physical challenges through the Happiness Programme.
Our next big developments of gaining our CPD accreditation for our training and helping evidence how the Happiness Programme can create better care outcomes for loved ones, including reducing PRN and falls, are part of this commitment. We’re as keen as ever to hear from you, our subscribers, with ideas you have for the Happiness Programme on World Alzheimer’s Day or for the future.
Not a member of the Happiness Programme?
The Happiness Programme is a first-of-its-kind initiative helping to change the lives of people living with cognitive challenges. We use interactive light technology to provide meaningful activities for residents and patients in care homes and care settings. For more detail on what the Happiness Programme is and how it’s helping care venues across the UK, visit our getting started page.
Alternatively, jump to our dementia, learning disability and NHS pages for more specific detail on how it’s helping care homes like Barchester and HC-One as well as hospitals and local authorities such as St George’s Hospital, London and Westminster and South Kensington Council.
For anything else, you can contact us here too.