More than half of carers who look after a relative with dementia have been abusive towards them, highlighting the benefits of looking for a specialist dementia care home.
That is the key finding of a survey by University College London (UCL) researchers, who questioned 220 carers who were looking after someone with dementia at home.
The survey found that 52 per cent had been abusive to the person in their care, with 34 per cent reporting significant levels of abuse.
Three of the respondents had even physically abused the person they were looking after, although lead researcher Dr Claudia Cooper noted that the true figure may be higher as those with the most abusive behaviour may have been reluctant to admit to it.
Co-author Professor Gill Livingston noted: "Our findings suggest that any strategy for safeguarding vulnerable adults must be directed towards families who provide the majority of care for older people, rather than exclusively at paid carers."
Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, described the findings as "unsettling" and called upon the government to do more to support carers.
© Copyright 2009
Long term care insurance: News update: 26/01/2009