Stobhill Home survey gives hope to dementia patients

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A study has revealed how dementia patients’ quality of life can be drastically improved with proper care.

Stobhill Care Home, in the shadow of Stobhill Hospital, was one of 16 homes to take part in the two year survey by Four Seasons Health Care.

The report looks at how 480 residents responded to specialised dementia care under the PEARL (Positively Enriching And enhancing Residents’ Lives) programme.

Researchers found that patients in the programme ended up requiring far less in the way of medication - including 47 per cent less antipsychotic drugs.

There was also a drop of 44 per cent in the requirement for medication to help residents get to sleep, and a drop of 40 per cent in drugs designed to combat anxiety.

Cutting back on the use of drugs had a dramatic effect on the wellbeing of those affected.

More than 40 per cent of those in the study gained weight - when those with dementia tend to become frail due to their condition.

Caroline Baker, Four Seasons’ head of quality and dementia care, said: “When people with dementia are showing distress reactions this may be due to them experiencing pain or discomfort, yet too often rather than trying to identify and relieve this symptom they are needlessly given antipsychotic drugs to calm them and keep them quiet.

“Reducing use of these drugs is a national priority.”

A full copy of the report, and more details about the PEARL programme can be found at www.fshc.co.uk

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