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Dementia "helped by talking"

People with dementia in care homes need to be able to talk to nurses and carers as a means of preventing them from becoming withdrawn, a study has found.

A new technique was used by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) to look at interactions between staff and people with dementia at 100 residential and nursing homes across England.

The new data shows "a significant relationship" between people being in a happy, relaxed mood and being engaged with the world around them.

Some 23 of the care homes looked at had low levels of communication where people with dementia spent half their time or less communicating with nurses and care staff.

Although 64% of all communications in the study were judged as positive, 28% were neutral, and 8% were negative - demeaning or disrespectful to the person with dementia.

Inspectors also advised 18 of the homes about their statutory requirements to maintain the privacy and dignity of residents.

"Anxiety, anger and shame are the emotional undercurrents to dementia. Negative or uncaring communication can intensify these feelings; positive communication provides a sense of safety and acceptance," the report said.

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Commission for Social Care Inspection