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  • ‘He’s lovely... I know he’s not real – but he could be’

    ‘He’s lovely... I know he’s not real – but he could be’

    Can robotic animals provide the same boost to wellbeing as contact with real animals for care home residents? Sarah Small and Catherine Quinn set out the results and the practical implications of a service evaluation which aimed to find out

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  • Art in response to music – involving children too

    Art in response to music – involving children too

    As musician in residence at a North Wales care home, Nia Davies Williams is ideally placed to observe how music influences the response of residents through painting. She explains how the two art forms can be fruitfully combined

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  • Early support: adapting to life with young onset dementia

    Early support: adapting to life with young onset dementia

    A young onset dementia diagnosis inevitably comes as a shock and there may be little help to adjust to it. Mandy Blair and Liz Rose explain the “Adapt” programme, which supports people to understand their diagnosis and come to terms with itBiog:

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  • The music died, but we’ll meet again with energy and passion

    The music died, but we’ll meet again with energy and passion

    When coronavirus arrived, it felt like “the day the music died” to singing groups across Scotland. Diana Kerr set out to record and capture their energy and passion so that they can restart with equal vigour once the virus has been beaten

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  • Playfulness and mischief – an intergenerational journey

    Playfulness and mischief – an intergenerational journey

    An intergenerational Christmas party held on an acute hospital ward sparked off plans for a whole new project. But would it be possible to overcome staff resistance? Jo James, Nicola Abraham and Elizabeth McGeorge describe what happened next

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  • How ‘gay bashing’ in the past can affect people now

    How ‘gay bashing’ in the past can affect people now

    In the modern world most of us accept sexuality as integral to personhood, but an LGBT+ person with dementia may struggle with memories of an intolerant past. Lynne Phair and Roy Wells reflect on the impact this can have on care and support

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  • Season's Greetings

    Season's Greetings

    23.12.20 It is so hard to sum up the year we've just had. We can never forget how badly people with dementia have fared with Covid-19, but nor can we forget the courage and determination so many have shown in these difficult times. We will be back in January with more news and views from our sector, and in the meantime the Journal of Dementia Care and UK Dementia Congress wish all our readers the best possible Christmas and New Year.

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  • COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch

    COVID-19 vaccinations and care homes: programme launch

    08.12.20 Helen Whately, Minister for Care, has written to care homes for older people and local authorities, outlining plans for getting the first COVID-19 vaccine to care home staff, from the first day vaccinations are available. Last week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations confirmed that adult social care is in its top priority groups for vaccination. The letter advises that the initial focus is on vaccinating care home workers and the over 80s and that vaccines will be available from 8 December 2020, initially in up to 50 hospital hubs across England. It also sets out a number of steps care home managers should take in preparation for the vaccinations. Read the letter here

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  • Care leaders urge government to rethink rules on staff movement

    Care leaders urge government to rethink rules on staff movement

    08.12.20 Care sector leaders in the south of England have urged the government to rethink impending legislation restricting all but essential staff movement between care homes. Surrey Care Association (SCA) leaders fear that the government’s plans, outlined in the Covid-19 Winter Plan, will undermine “care providers’ flexibility in the face of ongoing, existential challenges, something that will prove hugely detrimental in both the short and longer term”. SCA director Maria Mills said that managers had been doing all they could to restrict movement. But she added: “This change to movement will have a profoundly negative impact on the ability to offer safe care. It’s an occurrence across the industry for some staff to work across settings – especially in smaller 3, 4 or 5 person homes, such as managers and clinical staff. Many care providers also rely on agency staff, who they’ll often have established working relationships with, calling them in to plug staffing gaps."

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  • New guidance on care home visits

    New guidance on care home visits

    07.12.20 After a storm of protest from carers’ groups and charities, the government issued new guidance this week allowing closer contact between care home visitors and residents. Following a successful pilot scheme in the West Country each resident has been allowed up to two visitors twice a week, but visitors have to be tested for coronoavirus on arrival using new fast-turnaround lateral flow devices. The National Care Forum (NCF), representing not-for-profit providers, welcomed the move but questioned whether care homes had the capacity to meet testing requirements. “NCF analysis suggests that addressing all the testing commitments… will require an additional 3.6 million hours of care home staff time, currently with no additional resource to deliver this,” said the forum’s executive director Vic Rayner.

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