Norrms McNamara: All care staff need to be trained in dementia

Joseph Bulmer

Did you, like me, think that when you put your loved one in care, the staff who work there would be trained in dementia?

Did you think by leaving them in their care, they would be in the safest place they could be?

It's not easy putting a loved one in care but you do that as a last resort after you have done your very best and all you can for them both mentally and physically.

But you do it thinking that if your loved one has a meltdown as they do at home, they are in the best place to be cared for because the staff know how to deal with it.

Yes, me too. But think again - because all the training they get - in most parts I have to add, all are not the same - is some nondescript, meaningless online training or shadowing for a few hours by another member of staff who probably hasn't had any training either!

When you put your loved one into care you need the peace of mind that they are being looked after by experienced staff, by those who know what they are doing and have not just been employed because there is a staff shortage.

It really does beggar belief that this is happening and has been happening for years.

How did we ever get to such a point where our loved ones are put into such a position, and yet, 'those that be' have ignored this for years?

Is it not up to those that own these care homes to look after their staff in the best possible way and get the best out of them for the safety of others?

Carers are leaving everywhere and at one independent living scheme I know of, the staff are leaving in their droves, including managers, because the work has become too hard as it's more like a nursing home now than what it was originally intended for.

Whose fault is it? Not the staff/carers, they have applied for a job in the hope that they will be trained in the right way and be able to do that to the best of their ability,

Imagine them going into hospital and the doctors and nurses not having a clue how to help them in their time of need?

Oh, wait a minute, they are not fully trained in the UK's biggest killer either! Don't believe me? Just ask around.

To say I was lost for words when I found this out is an understatement.

The fact is that if it wasn’t for the carers of this country, both paid and unpaid, doing what they do, the whole UK would come to a standstill.

Carers really are the back bone of this wonderful island and they should not be treated like this. They deserve better and deserve our support.

This needs to change.

This is not just about dementia. Many people are placed in care for all sorts of different reasons with complex illnesses.

There is an old saying about you being in work a very long time and to be happy in what you do - you have to know what you’re doing and feel comfortable in what you do.

The huge difference with this is we are talking about human rights.

Everybody has the right to be looked after in a professional way when we get older, so please make sure you ask all the right questions when placing a loved one in care.