7. What to do if you are concerned about care
Getting the right care
Hospitals can be disorientating and frightening for a person with dementia and may make them more confused than usual. The person might find the ward loud and unfamiliar, and may not understand why they are there. However, there is much that can be done to help them adapt to the new environment. Our Care on a hospital ward factsheet covers some of the issues that friends, family and carers should consider when a person with dementia goes into hospital and gives tips on how the person can be reassured and supported during their stay.
This is me
This is me is a tool for people with dementia or their carers to complete that lets health and social care professionals know about their needs, interests, preferences, likes and dislikes. It's designed to stay with the person with dementia and is supposed to enable more personalised, dementia-friendly care.
If you have any problems with the person's treatment or care while they are in hospital, discuss these first with the named nurse. He or she should explain why things went wrong and how they will be put right. Use the following tips to complain effectively:
- Try to start on a positive note by mentioning something you have appreciated about the person's care.
- Try to make the complaint specific - for example, on three occasions you came in and saw that the drugs on the table had not been taken. It may help you to have the details written down.
- Try to stay calm.
If it is not possible to sort the problem out on the spot, keep brief notes, as it is easy to forget details. The notes should include:
- what occurred and when
- who you contacted or discussed it with
- what their response was.
If the problem still cannot be resolved, ask to see the ward manager or make an appointment with the consultant. Alternatively, you may prefer to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) based at the hospital. PALS acts on behalf of patients and families, and liaises with hospital staff to help resolve problems and concerns quickly.
Advice and support
Online Alzheimer's Society's Talking Point is an online community for anyone affected by dementia. It's a safe place to ask questions, share your experiences and receive advice and support. Find out more about Talking Point.
By phone Alzheimer's Society's National Dementia Helpline is here to provide advice and support to people affected by dementia. The number to call is 0300 222 1122.
The helpline is usually open from:
- 9am - 8pm Monday to Wednesday
- 9am - 5pm on Thursday and Friday
- 10am - 4pm on Saturday and Sunday