Expert warns of risks of moving people living with dementia

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 11:  Day guest Helga covered her face with her hands the middle of the room in the geriatric day care facility of the German Red Cross (DRK, or Deutsches Rotes Kreuz) at Villa Albrecht on March 11, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.  A great number of senior Citzens struggle with various forms of dementia at Villa Albrecht.  The German Red Cross dates its origin back to 1863 with the founding of the Wuerttembergischer Sanitaetsverein, a medical association that provided care to wounded soldiers. Today the German Red Cross has four million members nationwide and is active in international aid and social care.  (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

Professor June Andrews, a former university lecturer and author, has warned that moving people living with dementia to another care home could increase their risk of death.

The academic urged relatives to think carefully before moving their relatives when they are unhappy with their care home.

Professor Andrews told the Glasgow Evening Times: “The nuclear option if relatives are not happy is to go to another care home but the reason you’d avoid that is moving from one care home to another can be quite distressing.

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“Although it’s a thing at some point you might decide you have to do, the mortality rate for people with dementia once they have moved is increased slightly. It carries risks.”

Professor Andrews, who has written a guide to dementia, urged families to make sure they are completely happy with a care home before choosing it for their relatives.

She said people should check the interaction between staff and residents when visiting a home and its standards of cleanliness.

She added an en suite toilet, access to the outdoors and the ability to control room temperature should ideally be provided.

The professor also recommended relatives to organise a power of attorney as early as possible to ensure their family member was able to make decisions if needed when the time comes.

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