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 Care Campaign For The Vulnerable

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS


CCFTV - The Impact of Prolonged Hospital Stays on Older People with Dementia

4th March 2024

A Call for Improved NHS Care...

As the ageing population continues to grow, so does the prevalence of dementia, placing significant strain on healthcare systems worldwide. Within the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) plays a crucial role in providing care for older individuals, particularly those with dementia. However, recent research suggests that prolonged hospital stays for these individuals may lead to detrimental effects on both their physical and mental well-being.

Older people with dementia often require hospitalisation for various health issues, ranging from acute illnesses to injuries. While hospitals aim to provide the necessary care and treatment, the unfamiliar environment, routine disruptions, and lack of tailored support can exacerbate symptoms of dementia and contribute to adverse outcomes.

Physically, extended hospital stays can lead to a decline in functional abilities among older people with dementia. Reduced mobility, muscle weakness, and increased risk of falls are common consequences of prolonged bed rest and limited physical activity. Moreover, the inability to maintain proper nutrition and hydration during lengthy hospital stays can further weaken their overall health, compromising their ability to recover and leading to longer recovery times.

Mentally, the hospital environment can be overwhelming and distressing. Factors such as noise, bright lights, and constant activity can contribute to agitation, confusion, and behavioural changes. Additionally, the lack of familiarity and social interaction may exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation, worsening cognitive decline and increasing the risk of depression.

Despite the efforts of healthcare professionals, the care of people with dementia in NHS hospitals often falls short of meeting their complex needs. Several issues contribute to this,

1. Lack of Dementia-Friendly Environments

Many NHS hospitals are not designed or equipped to provide a dementia-friendly environment. The overwhelming sensory stimuli, unfamiliar surroundings, and lack of orientation cues can exacerbate confusion, agitation, and behaviour disturbances in patients with dementia. Without appropriate environmental modifications, hospitals can inadvertently contribute to the deterioration of patients' mental well-being.

2. Insufficient Staff Training

While dementia awareness training is essential for healthcare professionals, many NHS staff members receive minimal or inadequate training in different types of dementia care. As a result, they may lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and confidence to effectively support patients with dementia. This can lead to suboptimal care, including misinterpretation of complex behaviours, inappropriate use of medications, and failure to meet patients' individual needs.

3. Fragmented Care Pathway

The care of older people with dementia in NHS hospitals is often characterised also by poor care coordination. Due to the complexity of dementia and the presence of multiple comorbidities, patients may interact with various healthcare providers across different specialties, leading to disjointed care and communication gaps. This lack of continuity can result in delays in diagnosis, inappropriate management of symptoms, and increased risk of adverse events.

4. Limited Access to Specialist Services

Access to specialist dementia services within NHS hospitals is often limited, particularly in smaller or rural healthcare settings. This can result in delayed diagnosis, inadequate management of dementia-related complications, and missed opportunities for early intervention and support. Additionally, the lack of specialist input may contribute to a culture of low expectations regarding the potential for meaningful improvement in patients' quality of life and functional abilities.

While the NHS strives to provide high-quality care for people with dementia, significant challenges remain in ensuring that their needs are adequately met within hospital settings. Addressing issues such as the lack of dementia-friendly environments, insufficient staff training, overreliance on medications, and limited access to specialist services is essential to improving the overall quality of care and outcomes for this vulnerable population.

Furthermore, the transition from hospital to home or a care/nursing facility can be challenging for both patients and carers. Discharge planning may not adequately address the unique needs of individuals with dementia, leading to inadequate support services and increased risk of readmission.

To address these issues, CCFTV believes there is a pressing need for improved NHS care for older people with dementia during hospital admissions. This includes:

1. Person-centered care: Tailoring care plans to the individual needs and preferences of patients with dementia, including environmental modifications, communication strategies, and support for activities of daily living.

2. Specialist dementia training: Providing healthcare staff with comprehensive training in dementia care to enhance their understanding of the condition and improve their ability to support patients effectively.

3. Early discharge planning: Engaging in discharge planning from the onset of hospitalization to ensure a smooth transition back to the community or a care setting, with appropriate support services in place.

4. Enhanced support for carers

Recognising the vital role of carers in the care of individuals with dementia and providing them with the necessary education, resources, and respite support to prevent burnout and ensure continuity of care.

5. Collaborative approaches

Ensuring collaboration between healthcare professionals, social care services, and community organisations to deliver holistic care and support for older people with dementia across care settings.

By prioritising the needs of older people with dementia during hospitalisation and implementing these measures, the NHS can mitigate the adverse effects of prolonged stays and improve outcomes for this vulnerable population. Investing in dementia-friendly care practices not only enhances the quality of life for individuals with dementia but also promotes more efficient and cost-effective healthcare delivery in the long run.

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Signature Care Homes


CCFTV Partners with Signature Care Homes - supporting independent safety monitoring systems to protect the vulnerable elderly looked after in long-term care facilities.

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Winncare is delighted to sponsor the Care Campaign For The Vulnerable and fully support their commitment to safeguarding the vulnerable elderly. Our organisations have shared values based on supporting care home residents to live safe and fulfilled lives.


The Eagle lifting cushion, combined with the ISTUMBLE health assessment app, empowers care home workers to make good decisions around lifting residents that fall. Winncare’s work to safeguard residents’ lives aligns with CCFTV’s ambitions to protect the vulnerable elderly looked after in long term care facilities.

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Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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