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The following guidance is based on the best available evidence for the treatment and care of people with dementia. However, there are limitations to the current evidence base. Health and social care staff should treat people with dementia and their carers with respect at all times. Care plans should record and address these needs. Health and social care staff should identify the specific needs of people with dementia and their carers arising from ill health, physical disability, sensory impairment, communication difficulties, problems with nutrition, poor oral health and learning disabilities. Health and social care staff, especially in residential settings, should identify and, wherever possible, accommodate the preferences of people with dementia and their carers, including diet, sexuality and religion. Care plans should record and address these preferences.
People who are suspected of having dementia because of evidence of functional and cognitive deterioration, but who do not have sufficient memory impairment to be diagnosed with the condition, should not be denied access to support services. Younger people with dementia have special requirements, and specialist multidisciplinary services should be developed, allied to existing dementia services, to meet their needs for assessment, diagnosis and care. Health and social care staff working in care environments where younger people are at risk of developing dementia, such as those catering for people with learning disabilities, should be trained in dementia awareness. People with learning disabilities and those supporting them should have access to specialist advice and support regarding dementia. Health and social care professionals should always seek valid consent from people with dementia. This should entail informing the person of options, and checking that he or she understands, that there is no coercion and that he or she continues to consent over time. If the person lacks the capacity to make a decision, the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 must be followed.