Joint declaration on post-diagnostic dementia care and support
Why a declaration?
Once a person with dementia has received a diagnosis it is essential that they get appropriate post-diagnostic care throughout the course of their life, with the period immediately following diagnosis being a critical time for this to occur. This is needed to ensure that people living with the effects of dementia and their families and carers have the right information and support so they can live as fulfilling lives as possible, prepare for the future and their preferences for end of life are acted upon.
Post diagnostic support for people living with the effects of dementia and their families and carers should be personalised, flexible, culturally relevant and have proper regard to equality. There is no one size that fits all, with different needs existing according to personal wishes and circumstances, the nature of the dementia and the course of the condition. The whole person needs to be considered, taking into account any co-morbidities, allowing them the opportunity to have the choice and control to manage their condition as far as possible and to live as well as possible with dementia.
The person with dementia and their close family and carers should be able to talk things over with relevant services and professionals and be fully supported. At present, the quality of post diagnostic care, including access to carer support, is variable according to where an individual lives and the availability of local services – this must change. All people living with the effects of dementia and their families and carers should receive high quality support and information, available at the point of diagnosis, through the period following a diagnosis as their condition progresses and to the end of life.