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  • Mortality rate rises in over-90s driven by dementia, ONS shows

    Mortality rate rises in over-90s driven by dementia, ONS shows

    17.08.18 Mortality rates for “mental and behavioural disorders such as dementia” have increased sharply, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in life expectancy figures released this week. The ONS said the rise in mortality rates overall for people aged 90 or more was driven by the rise in dementia deaths. But the ONS said there were other factors as well, such as increased reporting of deaths from dementia because the condition is better understood, diagnosis rates have gone up, and the coding framework for cause of death has changed to make it more likely that dementia will be recorded as the cause.

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  • Dementia UK director raises concerns about “fractured” care system

    Dementia UK director raises concerns about “fractured” care system

    16.08.18 Dementia UK’s new director of clinical services Paul Edwards made headlines on the Express newspaper’s website – “Dementia UK director slams ‘fractured’ care system – ‘the government has SO much to do.’” He is quoted as saying that people with dementia are struggling to find their way around a fractured care system and that there is too much variation between regions. He says: “From being tied up by bureaucracy which delays the support a family receives even further, to the variance in regional dementia care and support, it’s reached the stage where many people just don’t know where or who they can turn to in order to address their often complex needs. If we want a society that views, understands and responds to the issues that dementia brings then frank, open and receptive conversations need to be spearheaded by MPs.

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  • Black people more likely to have dementia diagnosis than white people

    Black people more likely to have dementia diagnosis than white people

    15.08.18 A major data analysis comparing people of different ethnicities has found significant discrepancies in diagnosis rates between black, white and Asian people, suggesting that some ethnic groups are more prone to dementia than others. It also found that diagnosis rates may be lower than actual rates of dementia in certain groups, particularly black men. Research by University College London and King’s College London, analysing data from more than 2.5 million people, found a 25% higher incidence of dementia diagnosis among black women compared with white women and a 28% higher incidence in black men compared with white men. Asian women and men were respectively 18% and 12% less likely to have a dementia diagnosis than white women and men. More research is needed to understand why people in certain ethnic groups are more likely to develop dementia, the researchers said, including factors like education, poverty and physical activity.

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  • First residents move into pioneering dementia-focused development

    First residents move into pioneering dementia-focused development

    13.08.18 The first residents moved into Brendoncare’s Otterbourne Hill dementia-focused community development in Hampshire this week. Otterbourne Hill comprises apartments, a care home and a community hub for people with dementia and aims to offer high quality dementia care all the way from early stage dementia to the end of life. There are 20 purpose-built one and two-bedroom apartments with respite and emergency support available 24 hours a day, a 64-bedroom care home with specialist nursing and dementia care, and a dementia-friendly community and resource hub with a restaurant, activities and “Brendoncare Club” services for residents and people from the local community.

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  • Charity merger opens “exciting new chapter”

    Charity merger opens “exciting new chapter”

    14.08.18 Dementia care charity Community Integrated Care (CIC) has merged with the reminiscence arts charity Age Exchange. Age Exchange, based in south-east London with a national centre for reminiscence arts, hopes that the merger with CIC based in the north-west of England will enable it to increase its reach. CIC supports more than 3,500 people, including a proportion with dementia, and employs over 5,500 staff across England and Scotland. Age Exchange says that its centre in Blackheath is visited by 180,000 people a year. Age Exchange chief executive Rebecca Packwood said the merger marked an exciting new chapter. “Community Integrated Care will benefit from our expertise in reminiscence arts, allowing it to further develop its award-winning dementia services using Age Exchange’s impactful strategies, which are the blueprint for the ambitious plans for this partnership,” she said.

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  • E-newsletter 10 Aug 2018

    E-newsletter 10 Aug 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include A&E attendance over the summer and the dementia diagnosis rates of different ethnicities. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Care staff say they are underpaid as concerns are raised about wages

    Care staff say they are underpaid as concerns are raised about wages

    10.08.18 In a review of care jobs advertised on its website, care recruitment company CV-Library says that the average salaries on offer hit a four-month low in July and that they were down 6.8% from the same month last year. In a separate survey, CV-Library also found that 74.6% of care professionals who responded believe that they are underpaid. Company managing director Lee Biggins said employers were struggling to find people to fill their vacancies. “In order to find top talent, employers across the sector need to ensure that they’re offering the right packages,” he said.

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  • Care home provider halves anti-psychotic drug use in 3 months

    Care home provider halves anti-psychotic drug use in 3 months

    09.08.18 A three-month programme by Colten Care has succeeded in halving the use of antipsychotic drugs with residents who have dementia, in an approach which the south coast care home company says could save thousands of lives if applied nationally. At the start of the trial 64 residents were being prescribed antipsychotics, out of nearly 260 residents living in five dementia-specific care settings, but by the end of the trial just 32 of these residents were receiving the drugs. Overall, there were 97 residents getting the drugs across all of Colten Care’s 20 nursing homes, a figure which has now dropped to 65. Reductions in antipsychotic use were achieved when the care team “challenged, reviewed and cut down on typically powerful medications that can so readily be chosen as a first-line response for residents with or without dementia,” Colten Care said.

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  • Blue badge scheme extended to people with dementia

    Blue badge scheme extended to people with dementia

    08.8.18 People with “hidden disabilities” like dementia will be entitled to a Blue Badge, enabling them to park their car nearer to their destination than other members of the public. The Department for Transport said the scheme would be extended to them early next year. Transport minister Jesse Norman said Blue Badges gave disabled people the freedom and confidence to get about independently. Among the new criteria for Blue Badge eligibility will be that the person has very considerable difficulty walking, or when the person cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress or without their being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety.

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  • Top experts tell researchers that  non-drug approaches are best

    Top experts tell researchers that non-drug approaches are best

    07.08.18 Top experts believe that non-drug treatments should be favoured over drugs in responding to agitation and aggression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research. In research led by the University of Exeter, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan into the views of experts, the experts ranked assessment and management of the underlying causes of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and agitation as the most important approach. They preferred four targeted non-drug approaches: caregiver training, adaptation of environment, person-centred care and tailored activities. Where drug strategies were necessary, the experts ranked the antidepressant citalopram highest followed by pain relief medication. Both were prioritised over the antipsychotic risperidone. Alzheimer’s Society policy director Sally Copley said the study provided further evidence that people with dementia could manage their symptoms effectively with non-drug treatments

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