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Alzheimer’s Society calls for better care home training

21st April 2006

The Alzheimer’s Society has called for care home workers to be offered improved training to help them provide better care for dementia sufferers.

The society claims that its study of some 200 care homes in the UK has brought to light the frequency of difficult behaviour displayed by dementia sufferers and the problems this poses to staff.

It found that 73 per cent of care homes had recorded instances of dementia patients having been physically or verbally abusive to staff during the past three months.

"We are reiterating our call to tackle this issue now because recent studies have shown what helps people with dementia - staff training, psychological approaches and access to effective drugs yet nothing seems to be changing," said Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society.

He added that caring for a dementia patient is a skilled job, but despite around 75 per cent of people in care homes having some form of dementia, only ten per cent of care home staff have training for the illness.

The society has also condemned the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (Nice) plan to ban Ebixa; the only drug licensed to relieve the behavioural symptoms of moderate to severe forms of Alzheimer's.