Cruel practice

The Incontinence Advisory Service has announced cuts in the supply of incontinence pads to care homes. This shameful decision will profoundly affect the lives of dementia patients who become doubly incontinent and cannot speak for themselves because they have lost their capacity for speech as well as control of their minds and bodies.

They cannot say when they need their pads changed so they have to be checked and changed if necessary every two or three hours, more often with some.

If pads are to be limited, as the IAS expects, to two for daytime and two for nighttime, it will mean changes every six hours.

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This will mean people sitting in great discomfort in their own dirt for up to six hours. This can lead to sores and faecal infections and make the work of carers much harder.

This is a reprehensible saving of some 25,000 at the expense of the comfort and dignity of vulnerable people who cannot protest, strike, riot or vote.

If Health Minister Shona Robison is genuine in her desire to help those with dementia (last week she announced 30,000 more to make their lives easier) she must insist this callous decision be overturned.

Perhaps members of the IAS should try getting their hands dirty for a few days in the dementia ward and get a proper grasp of the basic problems before reaching such ill-considered decisions.


Strathearn Road


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