Hospital nurses caring for dementia patients must ensure carers are fully involved and supported, according to guidance published jointly by the Royal College of Nursing and the Carers Trust.
The Triangle of Care guide identifies six key standards aimed at boosting collaboration between healthcare workers and carers.
This includes highlighting the importance of swiftly identifying carers and ensuring they get the right support, as well as recognising the valuable contribution they can make to the assessment and care of dementia sufferers.
Crucially nurses and others must learn to put themselves “in the carer’s shoes”, said the guide, which calls for “carer awareness” training for all staff.
Developed by people with dementia, carers and clinicians, the standards were devised for hospital care but are relevant to all settings, the two organisations said.
The new guide builds on similar guidance already being used successfully in mental healthcare settings.
RCN general secretary Peter Carter said carers had an “integral role” in dementia care and had “a lot to offer healthcare staff”.
“No one is better placed to advise on a person’s needs and how their dementia affects them than a carer who has known them for years,” he added.