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Further warnings about elderly care as shocking dementia failings revealed

The state of elderly care is something that continues to cause anguish and distress for families nationwide.

When an older person can no longer care for themselves safely, families have tough decisions to make about how they will provide the support that is needed. For some, it will be a case of applying to their local authority for carers to visit their relative in their own home or finding a place in a state or privately funded care home.

Both can be fraught with problems and concerns about the safety of services can leave families fearful about what is happening to their loved one when they are in carers’ hands. For some, their worst fears are realised and I am currently representing several families whose loved ones have suffered appalling injuries due to failures in care homes.

Beyond causing the injury, there are also concerns about honesty from the care home workers in these cases as injuries and incidents were not reported, causing delays in treatment being provided. This is the largest betrayal of all for families.

Keeping elderly people in their own home by providing at-home care should be the ideal situation, however, according to news reports today, that system is also failing. The Telegraph and BBC report findings from the Alzheimer’s Society that one in three care workers looking after dementia patients at home have no training in the condition and that ‘harrowing’ levels of distress are being caused.

According to the reports, scandalous failings are going on behind closed doors by care workers who are unable to adequately care for dementia patient. This seems to be the crux of the problem when it comes to elderly care: unskilled workers are unable, or unwilling due to low pay, to provide the standard of care required to keep residents safe. However, the buck has to stop with the managers who are responsible for ensuring standards are met and staff are monitored.

The question remains: why are there so many failures in this area? Is it because there has not been the same government crackdown that has been aimed at raising standards in hospitals? Addressing elderly care could help hospitals by reducing the number of admissions required when injuries are caused, not to mention an awful lot of distress.

Sadly, the crisis in elderly care is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon as it is too far down the government’s agenda. However, we would urge families to get legal help if they have concerns about the care provided so they can not only obtain answers but also hopefully improve the situation for other patients.




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