This article was submitted to HelloCare by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. She wrote these words in response to our article about staff ratios.

During observations of my husband’s and fellow patients’ care in a secure dementia facility, I have witnessed many complex issues and problems with staffing ratios, staff education and skills.

I see that most nursing staff do not have enough daily contact with dementia patients to get to know these patients as individuals that enable them to develop a report to help to serve their individual needs.

I see that when personal carers are allowed continuity of caring for the same patients they are then able to develop appropriate report to deliver supportive quality care and helpful responses to dementia behaviours.

I see that when staff is constantly changed this causes confusion for staff and patients and in turn causes more dementia behaviour issues.

I was recently asked by a newly appointed unit manager, meeting me for the first time, “Why is my husband there? “ This question alone was enough to have me question her placement to a secure dementia facility.

To qualify for age care nursing we were bound by government regulations and assessments and I don’t know anyone who would choose to give up their home and an independent lifestyle other than that health limiting circumstances render us unable to care for ourselves or our loved ones.

I also found her views upon diet requirements, weight management and general health management unacceptable with little regard for our personal lifestyle choices.

A personal commitment to understanding dementia and a personal choice to serving the needs of dementia patients are surely essential to anyone working in dementia care, however special dementia education should be mandatory to work in this industry and facilities should invest in ongoing education support for all staff.

This Royal Commission has revealed that suitable staff to resident / patient ratio must be provided to provide the level of care necessary for responsible, complete care that is appropriate to the needs of our aged community.

What are your thoughts about staff ratios?

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