SCoR update dementia care guidelines

Published: 21 May 2020 Imaging

The Society and College has published the second edition of Caring for People with Dementia: a clinical practice guideline for the radiography workforce (imaging and radiotherapy).

The guidelines are based on a review of the available evidence base, expert consensus and stakeholder consultations and are accompanied by a downloadable infographic, Summary for person-centered dementia care.

"This document is important because a significant number of the patients that radiographers, assistant practitioners, volunteers, and students support are people who are living with dementia," Dr Tracy O'Regan, SCoR professional officer for clinical imaging, said.

"The Society thanks everyone involved in the compilation of these guidelines, with special gratitude to all of the stakeholder group and especially the core group, which includes Sylvia George, Emily Lewis, Lisa Field, Lindsay Batty-Smith, and Heather Drury-Smith," Tracy continued.

"We would like to acknowledge the dual roles that many of the team who contributed had, as both healthcare professionals and also family members or carers for people with dementia, in their own personal lives.

"The people who contributed to this review felt passionate about improving care for people with dementia and motivated to act, commonly because of their own experiences. Many SCoR members shared stories of lovely people with a range of dementias and experiences. Throughout there was a golden thread of remembering the wonderful person that remains, despite a diagnosis of dementia and ultimate progression of disease."

Tracy says a key point made in the guidance is the experience of visiting an imaging or radiotherapy department for a person with dementia can depend on the type or cause of their condition, the stage of their illness, the person’s personality and, crucially, the way imaging and radiotherapy workforce members interact with the person.

"It is important to tailor care according to the form of dementia the patient has and their personal needs," Tracy said.

"The staff ideally should be informed about the person’s diagnosis, form and stage of dementia beforehand, to allow adequate preparation and adaptations of care to suit their needs.

"Staff need to have knowledge about the different types of dementia in order to tailor care. They need the time to train and the time to care, with longer appointment times for people with dementia.

"A final point is to please remember that when a person with dementia has a carer with them, that carer will want to help and could also be anxious and in need of our care and support as well as the patient."

Caring for People with Dementia: a clinical practice guideline for the radiography workforce (imaging and radiotherapy)

Summary for person-centered dementia care