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Dementia patients locked in alone at night: report

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 18 Nov 2010, 14:45

Published: 18 Nov 2010 14:45 GMT+01:00

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The board has conducted spot checks at 94 care homes for patients suffering from dementia across Sweden and concluded that "signs of failings in dementia care have become more numerous".

The subsequent report, published on Thursday, shows that 61 percent of the inspected homes had patients who were locked and unsupervised during shorter or longer periods of the night.

"If the door to a home is locked then staff have to be able, within a few minutes, to notice if an individual wants to get out and get in contact. Otherwise the lock-in is illegal," Per-Anders Sunesson at the board said in a statement.

"It is an illegal restraint against the occupant," Sunesson said.

The inspection report also shows that a quarter of dementia care homes do not bring in extra staff at times of heavy workload. Staff at 40 percent of the homes stated that they experience that staff levels are too low to be able to provide sufficient care and attention.

"It is shocking that such a large proportion of Sweden's dementia patients are not provided with proper security and safety. This is a group that requires a lot of care and proximity to staff round the clock," Per-Anders Sunesson said.

Sunesson meanwhile reserved praise for staff employed at Sweden's dementia care homes.

Story continues below…

"The staff which we have met perform a fantastic job considering the conditions under which they work."

The board will now follow up the inspection report by sending a written decision to all the municipalities and responsible authorities for the inspected homes, with demands for measures to address the deficiencies.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:37 November 18, 2010 by Swedesmith
At least they allow me access to a computer...bwaa haa haa (evil laugh).
17:14 November 18, 2010 by Sula
Expats can also suffer dementia and end up in the care system here.
18:33 November 18, 2010 by americanska
Wow. That is some great government care. There was a report about the old folks homes in Sweden considering only allowing one cup of coffee per day as a cost cutting measure as well.
19:10 November 18, 2010 by Puffin

Where does it say that these were *government care homes*??? - a large proportion of care homes are private in Sweden - some municipaties have privatised all of their care homes for the disabled
22:29 November 18, 2010 by dizzymoe33
This is disgraceful these people shouldn't be treated like this. What if there was some emergency during the night and there is no one around? How disgusting.
00:56 November 19, 2010 by GLO
Big Problem..... No good answer, Sorry.....
09:00 November 19, 2010 by Duron1
i wonder what these people will do if there was a fire
12:07 November 20, 2010 by HowSwedeitis
I am sad to read this. I hope the system improves now that some light has been shed on it.

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