Comorbidity and dementia: a mixed-method study on improving health care for people with dementia (CoDem)

Bunn F, Burn A-M, Goodman C, Robinson L, Rait G, Norton S, Bennett H, Poole M, Schoeman J, Brayne C.

Health Services and Delivery Research Volume 4 Issue 8 , 2016

Long term conditions and dementia.jpg

Source: National Institute for Health Research

New evidence shows that almost one fifth of people with dementia also have other serious conditions such as stroke, diabetes and visual impairment. Services are not currently designed to provide adequate integrated care for people with dementia plus other conditions. For instance, people with dementia are less likely to get diabetes checks or cataract surgery than those without dementia. Carers are not routinely contacted, and there is a lack of guidance for health professionals covering more than one condition.

Implications for practice include incorporating the impact of a diagnosis of dementia on pre-existing conditions into care planning. Second, professionals could find ways to communicate more effectively with family and carers, such as agreeing to share health information with carers while a person still has capacity to decide. Third, there could be specific advice in guidelines for professionals such as those for diabetes and stroke management.

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