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2015: Ethical dilemmas faced by professionals providing dementia care in care homes and hospitals

As Chair of Alzheimer Europe, I am pleased to present this publication which provides ethical guidance for health and social care professionals who strive on a daily basis to provide quality dementia care in care homes and hospitals. Often, they are faced with ethically sensitive situations and ethical dilemmas which make this difficult to achieve, particularly when appropriate support and knowledge are lacking. For this reason, Alzheimer Europe set up a working group to produce appropriate guidance and support. This guide is the result of a year’s work carried out by this group of experts in ethics and in health and social care provision, a person with dementia and representatives of national Alzheimer Associations.

It is clear that despite their wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise, the members of the working group wanted to encourage readers to think for themselves, to work out what would be an ethical approach and to take responsibility for providing ethical care. Some of the commentaries are very down to earth, others slightly more theoretical, but all provide an example of how to reflect ethically. The tone is non-judgemental. It is clear that the experts involved in drafting this booklet have not been sitting in ivory towers. They understand the reality of providing dementia care in these settings and of the ethical challenges involved.

I hope that the managers of care homes and hospitals, which provide care for people with dementia, find it a helpful resource and that the health and social care professionals who benefit from the training are able to relate to the materials and increase their confidence in tackling ethically challenging situations. I am convinced that this will be a valuable resource to be used within the context of ongoing professional training and hope that it will contribute towards the provision of ethical care but also to the wellbeing of professional carers by empowering them to deal more effectively with ethically challenging situations. 

I would therefore like to express my sincere gratitude to the members of the working group who made it possible for Alzheimer Europe to publish this valuable resource: Dianne Gove (Chair of the working group), June Andrews, Lydie Diederich, Chris Gastmans, Jean Georges, Debby Gerritsen, Fabrice Gzil, Dana Hradcová, Agnes Houston, Julian Hughes, Caroline Kilty, Denis Mancini, Alistair Neimeijer, Lucília Nóbrega, Eila Okkonen, Jan Oyebode and Natalie Rigaux.

Heike von Lützau-Hohlbein

Chair of Alzheimer Europe



Last Updated: Thursday 26 November 2015