‘Dementia tool should be rolled out in Derry too’

Mark H Durkan.

Mark H Durkan.

Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan has written to the Western Trust asking it to adopt a new dementia assessment tool, which has been designed to encourage a more humane and understanding approach to the condition.

It’s hoped the ‘Look At All of Me’ tool, which has been designed by clinical psychologist Dr. Frances Duffy and rolled out across the Northern Trust already, will avoid labelling and the dehumanisation of people suffering the illness.

Mr. Durkan has said it should be introduced in the Western Trust as soon as possible.

“This tool, which has been designed in the North, aims to equip care home staff with information so they can understand and assess behaviour, particularly when it is most challenging,” said the SDLP MLA.

“This enables patients’ specific needs to be met which is obviously with huge benefit to patients, their families and, importantly, health care workers. I have written to the Western Trust asking if they intend to roll out use of this tool here. I have long campaigned for improved dementia services and while any initiative such as this is to be welcomed, there is a long, long way to go to ensure we have adequate dementia services here in the Northwest.

“The Department of Health here is really struggling to cope with the number of people living with dementia now which is extremely worrying given the projections of a massive increase in the prevalence of dementia in the near future.”