Quality statement 5: Maintaining and developing relationships

Quality statement

People with dementia are enabled, with the involvement of their carers, to maintain and develop relationships.

Rationale

The ability to maintain and develop personal and social relationships is important for a person's wellbeing. It is important that people with dementia continue to have opportunities to engage with friends and family, and to develop new relationships.

Quality measure

Structure: Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that people with dementia are enabled, with the involvement of their carers, to maintain and develop relationships.

Outcome:

a) Feedback from people with dementia that they are enabled to maintain and develop relationships.

b) Feedback from the carers of people with dementia that the person they support is enabled to maintain and develop relationships.

What the quality statement means for each audience

People with dementia can continue to meet their friends and family and can make new relationships.

Carers of people with dementia are involved in helping the person they support to meet with their friends and family and make new relationships.

Local authorities and others commissioning services work with providers to ensure the services they commission enable people with dementia, with the involvement of their carers, to maintain and develop relationships.

Organisations providing care and support ensure people with dementia are enabled, with the involvement of their carers, to maintain and develop relationships.

Source guidance

NICE clinical guideline 42 recommendations 1.1.5.1 and 1.1.7.2.

SCIE guide 15: Social inclusion.

SCIE guide 15: Choice and control.

SCIE guide 47: Personalisation – a rough guide.

Data source

Structure: Local data collection.

Outcome: a) and b) Local data collection.

Definitions

Enabled

This refers to actions taken by care providers to ensure that people with dementia can maintain and develop relationships. This includes, but is not limited to, providing transport to social events, and providing a suitable setting for friends and family to visit and socialise with people in residential care settings. People with dementia may face particular difficulties when engaging with others, such as communication difficulties, and may need skilled support to maintain and develop relationships. This could be provided by family and friends or paid staff. The skill lies in understanding the difficulties people have in engaging, and knowing how to address these.

Carers

The Department of Health defines a carer as someone who provides unpaid support to family or friends who couldn't manage without this help, whether they're caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.

Relationships

This refers to ongoing contact with friends and family, and the opportunity to develop new social contacts beyond the immediate vicinity of the care facility or other accommodation.

Equality and diversity considerations

Social care staff should identify the specific needs of people with dementia and their carers arising from diversity, including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age and religion. These needs should be recorded in care plans and addressed (NICE clinical guideline 42 recommendations 1.1.1.3 and 1.1.1.5).