Did you miss the latest #NurChat twitter debate about dementia? Let us sum it up for you …
Following the experiences with her fathers care and the recent report of the National Audit of Dementia Care in Hospitals 2011 @nursemaiden put forward a suggestion for a NurChat on dementia care. With 750,000 people in the UK currently with Dementia (Alzhiemers Society) it is clear to see that this is a very pertinent nursing issue.
The chat started by asking if participants had received any dementia care training, as this was one of the issues highlighted in the report?
@Tink73Purple tweeted “I remember having 1 day of training on dementia in 3 years of mental health nurse training”
@nursemaiden tweeted “I never had any formal training. Obviously now having my Dad with dementia has allowed me to learn more”
@mnarajos “As far I as know, at the nursing home at which I volunteer, there is no formal training specifically for dementia patients”
The chat then moved on to talk about dementia champions in healthcare organisations and on wards and it was mentioned that every hospital should have a dementia lead.
@anniecoops stated “I met a manager recently who had introduced an idea where there were dementia champions across the organisation who would help”
@politicalnurse said “Dementia care is something every nurse should be able to do /know about, not just champions or leads”
@simonbrowes tweeted “Dementia touches most areas of healthcare so it should be part of core knowledge and skills”
NurChat then asked about the practical things we can do when caring for people with dementia? Some great practical ideas were shared:
@SharpTracey suggested “Don’t put the person in a side room. It’s tantamount to sensory deprivation leading to more confusion”
@politicalnurse tweeted “Practical things include person centred care, getting to know the person through their family and other care workers”
There were quite a few links shared to aid assessment of patients with dementia and full details of these can be found in the full transcript on the NurChat blog.
At the end of the chat Nurchat asked what participants would do as a result of the chat? There were some really positive replies
@manarajos said “I will definitely try to get the This Is Me leaflet idea in the nursing home in which I volunteer!”
@SharpTracey tweeted “I’m going to read up on the dementia strategy”
@nursemaiden stated “I am pleased to hear nursing times are looking at developing an on line dementia learning unit for nurses in acute care”
@simonbrowes tweeted “Attending the RCN public health conference this week. Will put dementia forward as a PH forum issue”
With an ageing population it is clear that dementia can only be set to rise and I very much believe that it is the responsibility of us all to ensure we have the right skills and knowledge to care for people with dementia. It was great to see so many nurses on NurChat getting passionate about dementia care, identifying key issues and coming up with ideas to improve practice. For me one of the most important tweets of the conversation was from @simonbrowes who tweeted “Dementia touches most areas of healthcare so it should be part of core knowledge and skills” I think that he is right, it is very rare that I come across a nurse who has not cared for someone with dementia. As professionals we have a duty to ensure we understand and can care for all of our patients to a high standard so let’s not forget about those with dementia.
Teresa Chinn heads up NurChat for Newcross Healthcare Solutions - Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter chat for nurses exploring different topics that vary enormously.Anyone can suggest a NurChat discussion subject simply by tweeting @NurChat or by visiting the NurChat blog.