Ethical dilemmas in dementia care
By Professor TONY HOPE
Providers of residential care regularly come across ethical dilemmas when working with people with dementia. These dilemmas include when to use restraint, when to share confidential information with families, and how to weigh-up the past and present wishes of a person with dementia.
Following a two-year inquiry, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics published a report in October 2009 which set out an ethical framework to help those providing day-to-day care of people with dementia, together with recommendations for policy makers.
Support for professional carers
One of our key conclusions is that care workers and professionals should have access to ongoing education and support to equip them to respond appropriately to ethical dilemmas in dementia care. They should also have access to forums for sharing and receiving support. There are some excellent, localised examples of good practice around the country, such as the Bradford Dementia Group and the Stirling Dementia Ser