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  • E-Newsletter 18 August 2017

    E-Newsletter 18 August 2017

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. Items this week include risk reduction, University studies and the rising cost of dementia. It is an editor’s selection that I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Small changes could help “get the basics right” in care homes

    Small changes could help “get the basics right” in care homes

    18.08.17 Small, low cost changes to care homes in order to ensure all residents feel “at home” are at the heart of a report from Healthwatch, the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services. It follows an investigation which found that, despite much evidence of good care, many homes were “not getting the basics right.” "It’s not easy running a care home, particularly as the sector as a whole is trying to get to grips with the dual challenge of managing rising demand with limited resources,” said national director Imelda Redmond. “But getting the basics right doesn’t have to cost the earth.” Findings from the Healthwatch network, can be downloaded HERE

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  • Blog resource launched to promote good practice in CST

    Blog resource launched to promote good practice in CST

    17.08.17 Simon O’Donovan, from Cardiff and Vale Young Onset Dementia Service, has launched a cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) blog. It is a free independent resource aimed at sharing materials for supporting CST practice and benefiting people with mild to moderate dementia. “I aim to update it each week and add content re new activities we have used in our YOD Friendship Group,” says Simon. “It goes without saying that no client personal details or images will ever be included. It’s just about how the sessions have been planned and how the materials have gone down. I aim to gradually add to the resources and links pages and obviously will include the Journal of Dementia Care there asap.” Click HERE

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  • Taking antidepressants increases head injury risk in Alzheimer’s

    Taking antidepressants increases head injury risk in Alzheimer’s

    16.08.17 A study of antidepressant use among older people with Alzheimer’s disease has found that these drugs increase the risk of head and traumatic brain injuries. The injuries were caused by falling, for which antidepressants were already known to be a risk factor. “Our findings give cause for concern because persons with Alzheimer’s disease frequently use antidepressants, which have been considered a safer alternative to, for example, benzodiazepines,” said senior researcher Heidi Taipale from the University of Eastern Finland. “Our study population consisted of persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but it is likely that the risk is similar also in other older persons without Alzheimer’s disease. This is something we will be studying in the future.” The research, published online in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy on August 1, included 10,910 antidepressant users and 21,820 non-users, all of whom had Alzheimer’s.

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  • New model needed for dementia care home design

    New model needed for dementia care home design

    15.08.17 A new model of residential dementia care building design is needed to fully integrate care and the environment, says architect William McMorran, who has produced a report based on comparative research in Australia, Canada and Holland. Following his travels on a fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, McMorran says a new approach to care home architecture could “empower residents, improve their health, reduce care staff stress, transform the role of carers in society, and introduce cost effective care delivery and affordable construction of care buildings.” He adds: “Increased financial support for a broken care model will not resolve the problem. Instead, a fundamental change in the culture of care is required.” The Architecture of Care – A new approach, available HERE

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  • Delayed discharges still rising but reduction targets “unachievable”

    Delayed discharges still rising but reduction targets “unachievable”

    14.08.17 NHS performance figures last week show that delayed discharges from hospital continue to be up year-on-year with an average of nearly 6,000 beds unnecessarily occupied at any one time. There were 178,441 delayed days in June 2017 compared with 173,122 in June last year. NHS Providers, which represents hospital trusts, said lack of progress on delayed transfers of care was “particularly worrying” as it had led to longer waiting times for treatment. Responding to the figures, the Local Government Association (LGA) said underfunding had made it harder to support people at home and in their communities. “Setting councils what will at least in some cases be unachievable reduction targets for delayed transfers is unhelpful, and it is disappointing councils are being hit with even further pressures at a time when services are already strained and overstretched” said Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.

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  • E-Newsletter  11 Aug 2017

    E-Newsletter 11 Aug 2017

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. Items this week include care home design, anti-depressants and cognitive stimulation therapy for younger people with dementia. It is an editor’s selection that I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Early birds get discounted rates for UK Dementia Congress

    Early birds get discounted rates for UK Dementia Congress

    11.08.17 Book now for the UK Dementia Congress (November 7 – 9) to take advantage of early bird prices for three days of lively, cutting edge debate on the big themes in dementia care with keynote speakers including Craig Ritchie, professor of the psychiatry of ageing at Edinburgh University, Liz Sampson, reader in the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at UCL, Murna Downs, professor in dementia studies at Bradford University, James Pickett, head of research at Alzheimer’s Society, and Claire Surr, professor of dementia studies at Leeds Beckett University. For the full programme and to book, go to www.careinfo.org/ukdc-2017. Early bird prices available for those booking before September 1.

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  • New dementia care minister praises workforce for reaching targets

    New dementia care minister praises workforce for reaching targets

    10.08.17 New dementia care minister Jackie Doyle-Price praised the work of care staff in a statement to JDC this week. “Dementia remains a key health priority for this government and we’re committed to making England the best place in the world to live with dementia,” Doyle-Price said. “We have invested £50 million in creating dementia friendly environments in hospitals and care homes, and trained more than half a million NHS staff on dementia. By 2020 all hospitals should meet the dementia friendly criteria and I’d like to thank all NHS and care professionals involved for helping us to reach our goal.”

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  • Film animation on communication difficulties promotes understanding

    Film animation on communication difficulties promotes understanding

    09.08.17 Disorientation and confusion associated with memory loss is the theme of a new animation produced by Cardiff University and narrated by Blackadder actor Sir Tony Robinson. It lays bare the communication difficulties faced by people with dementia and is based on a decade of research by Professor Alison Wray at the University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy. The animation aims to help carers better understand and support people with dementia. Professor Wray said: “Carers, both family and professional, need ideas to help them make sense of what is happening. It looks at the social consequences of the cognitive challenges arising from dementia, but importantly, it also shows how resilient our basic social interactional behaviour is in the face of the condition.” The 16 minute animation is available free on YouTube HERE

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