These are some of the legislation related to minimising the risk of harm for an individual with dementia. Key legislation are Human Rights Act 1998, Mental Health Act 2007, Disability Discrimination Act, Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, Carers (equal opportunities ) Act 2004. Together these legislations form the fundamental rights and freedom of an individual. These affect the rights of every day life of an individual including what they can say and do, their beliefs, right not to be tortured and right for a fair trial. These rights have limits to ensure that other peoples rights are upheld.
The law of confidence protects people from having their personal information shared against their wishes. If a person gives private information to another person or organisation and reasonably expects that information to be kept confidential , they can take legal action if information is passed on without their consent. The threat of legal action may cause staff about disclosing personal information about a service user. Doctors have a duty of confidentiality to their patients. Generally personal information may only be disclosed , even to a persons close family , if he or she consents. This duty of confidentiality can be breached if there is a strong need to do so in the “public interest” or in the interest of the patient. A doctor may choose to breach confidentiality if they forsee harm to a patient or others.
The British Association of Social Workers ethical guidance states that personal information given to social workers by a service user should be kept confidential and only disclosed where this could be in the public interest, where there is risk or where there is a legal obligation to disclose. In practise this means that a professional will normally abide by a patients wishes not to share information with a family member. A professional could breach their duty of confidentiality and give information to a carer, but this would only happen where a person with a mental health condition poses a risk to themselves or others. If a person is happy for the professionals involved with their care to disclose information, it may be best for them to put this in writing and to ask for a note to be placed on their care plan or medical records.
People with dementia can still make decisions in their everyday lives and support from partners and family can continue to do so as their condition advances. People with dementia may need encouragement to make these decisions for themselves. Dementia can be a stigmatised illness and those living with the condition are sensitive to other peoples reaction to them. Their confidence can be quite fragile. It is important that they feel good about themselves and know that their views still matter.
A person diagnosed with dementia does not necessarily lack capacity. However for people with dementia the loss of the ability to make informed decisions may be a gradual process so the point at which they are no longer able to make a decision is quite difficult to pinpoint. Also at times a person may be quite capable of making their own decisions while at others their dementia can significantly affect their capacity and abilities. If a persons capacity fluctuates or is temporary , an assessment of the persons capacity must be made at the time the decision has to be made.
Many people find it difficult to complain for a number of reasons, language barrier, fear of service being withdrawn or because they have a cognitive impairment. It is important to ensure that there is a fair, open and honest culture around complaints so that people feel confident in bringing concerns to the attention of the service provider without fear of retribution. Vulnerable people or those who find it difficult to make their views heard should be protected and have access to adequate support. Each organisation should have in place a complaints procedure. This information leaflet is in the service users care plan. Part of the role of the carer is to make the complaints procedure available for people to use. Also to assist in making complaints, either directly, by supporting them in following the procedure or indirectly by making sure that they are aware of the complaints procedure and are able to follow it.
You need to give the individual you are caring for choice and control. Enabling the individual to make choices about the way they live and the care they receive. Speak to the person respectively and listen to what they are saying. Enable the person to maintain their usual standards of personal hygiene and enabling them to maintain their independence by providing a little bit of help. Build on the individuals strengths and abilities to maximise and promote their independence .You should enable the person to feel valued and safe. Respect a persons privacy and personal space.