Campaigning charity Parkinson’s UK has called for better training for health professionals on Parkinson’s related dementia and produced a new toolkit to help them.
The toolkit gives an overview of Parkinson’s dementia, including risk factors, symptoms and assessments, while also suggesting treatment strategies. It is aimed at health and care professionals who support people with Parkinson’s.
“It was designed to help facilitate conversations about Parkinson’s dementia in clinic because although dementia is common in Parkinson’s, it is not always talked about enough and people with the condition can be fearful of and reluctant to discuss the topic,” the charity said.
According to the charity, 3 in 10 people with Parkinson’s have Parkinson’s-related dementia and people with the condition are 6 times more likely to develop dementia than other people.
It has urged people to sign a letter campaigning for better training after publishing findings in a new report – “Nobody really knows us” – which show that 48% of carers surveyed reported that hospital staff had insufficient knowledge of Parkinson’s-related dementia, while 60% of health professionals themselves said they needed more training.
“If they haven’t received the right education and training and don’t understand the difference between Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s-related dementia, then the end result is that the person does not receive high-quality care,” said senior policy and campaigns adviser Gini Dellow. www.parkinsons.org.uk.