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  • US dementia mortality rate more than doubles in two decades

    US dementia mortality rate more than doubles in two decades

    22.03.19 Mortality rates from dementia have more than doubled over the past two decades in the United States, a research team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. Researchers calculated that, overall, age-adjusted death rates for dementia increased from 30.5 deaths per 100,000 population in the year 2000 to 66.7 in 2017. Just 84,000 deaths in the US were attributed to dementia in 2000, compared with 262,000 in 2017 – 46% of the latter were due to Alzheimer’s disease. "Part of what is likely happening is people are living to older ages, and those are the ages where your risk of dementia is the highest," lead researcher Ellen Kramarow told the journal Medical Xpress. “If you haven’t died of heart disease or cancer or something else and you get to the very oldest ages, your risk for getting dementia is higher.” But, as in the UK, a portion of the increase could be a change in the way that deaths are recorded.

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  • Hospital study on wards reduces falls by a third

    Hospital study on wards reduces falls by a third

    21.03.19 A clinical study which used digital technology to monitor hospital patients with dementia resulted in a marked reduction in falls. Optical sensors placed on two wards at Manor Hospital, near Coventry, led to a one-third drop in falls during the night because they were able to detect activity and measure the vital signs of patients in their bedrooms. A report on the study, by Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and Oxehealth, also found that time spent by nurses on enhanced observations of patients reduced by 71% during the eight-month study period last year compared with the same period in 2017. This equated to a time saving of 7,800 hours a year for the hospital, coupled with a 56% decline in demand for A&E attendance. Tracey Wrench, trust chief nurse and chief operating officer, said that staff had been able to anticipate falls and respond faster. “The one third reduction in falls is very encouraging, and the remaining falls have been less serious,” she said.

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  • Journal of Dementia Care and other titles sold to Investor Publishing

    Journal of Dementia Care and other titles sold to Investor Publishing

    20.03.19 Hawker Publications has completed the sale of the Journal of Dementia Care to Investor Publishing (IP), publishers of HealthInvestor magazine. JDC and its team are now part of IP along with other former Hawker publications Caring Times and NMT (Nursery Management Today), although Hawker will retain its book publishing operation. Hawker managing director Richard Hawkins, who will continue to be involved as founder director, paid tribute to the journal teams, adding: “We think the [Hawker] assets will complement those in IP very well and that the merger will be very successful.” Investor Publishing is a business information and events company focusing on investment activity in the health and education sectors.

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  • E-Newsletter 15 March 2019

    E-Newsletter 15 March 2019

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include the social care Green Paper and a hospital study to reduce falls. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • No time to lose in signing parliamentary petition for more research funds

    No time to lose in signing parliamentary petition for more research funds

    19.03.19 Time is running out to sign an Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) petition on the parliament website calling on the government to put 1% of the total annual cost of dementia towards dementia research. By this morning just over 29,000 signatures had been collected, but 100,000 are needed by 25 March if the issue is to be considered for debate in parliament. Ahead of the chancellor’s spring statement this week, which brought forth no extra funding, ARUK chief executive Hilary Evans told the Express newspaper that “dementia research and treatment lags far behind other major disease areas like cancer – this inequity has resulted in slower progress in our ability to treat dementia.” According to ARUK, in 2016-17 the government committed £83.1 million to dementia research; in contrast, cancer research received £269 million in 2015-16. Petition HERE

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  • Chancellor announces new delay to Green Paper

    Chancellor announces new delay to Green Paper

    18.03.19 In his spring statement last week chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond signalled yet another delay in the social care Green Paper, which is now expected in the summer. In last year’s spring statement, the Green Paper was promised in summer 2018. Hammond told the Commons on Wednesday that a review of social care would be part of a broader departmental spending review in the summer as long as a Brexit deal had been concluded. “Not for the first time the chancellor held out the prospect of unspecified amounts of ‘jam tomorrow’ for our beleaguered social care system, but only if a deal to leave the European Union is agreed by parliament,” said Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams. “Given the uncertainty over that, it is difficult to be at all confident that relief is on the way any time soon."

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  • New Admiral Nurse appointment adds to growing number in Hospices

    New Admiral Nurse appointment adds to growing number in Hospices

    15.03.19 A Newcastle hospice has appointed an Admiral Nurse specifically to improve end of life care as part of what charity Dementia UK described as a “growing number” of dementia specialist nurses working in hospice settings. Maya Gorton, who has taken the job at St Oswald’s Hospice, will be involved in creating an end of life care pathway in response to the rising prevalence of dementia in Newcastle upon Tyne. Part of her role will be to connect patients with palliative care teams, community nurses and other forms of support and therapy. Julie Allen, strategic business development manager at Dementia UK, which provides training and support for the nurses said “Maya will play an important role in ensuring that the increasing number of families living with dementia in Newcastle are supported when times are challenging for people affected by dementia in the later stages of life.”

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  • Advance care planning trial reveals positive outcomes

    Advance care planning trial reveals positive outcomes

    14.03.18 An advance care planning (ACP) trial in 24 Northern Ireland dementia care homes has demonstrated positive outcomes for family carers. In the randomised controlled trial, conducted by Queen’s University, specially trained nurses undertook ACP with the family carers of residents who lacked decision-making capacity. Researchers explored whether family carers felt sufficiently informed and supported to take part in decisions about a loved one’s care as well as any distress they might feel. They found that ACP “significantly improved” carers’ confidence to participate in end of life care decision-making for their relative as well as resulting in positive family perceptions of care. But ACP did not impact on the family’s psychological distress. More HERE

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  • Sharp increase in LPA investigations

    Sharp increase in LPA investigations

    13.03.19 A sharp rise in complaints about abuses of power of attorney is causing problems for families, a report in the Telegraph newspaper claims. It says the government’s Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) carried out 1,886 complaints investigations in England and Wales last year, a rise of 50% on the previous year. Complaints concerned lasting powers of attorney (LPA) for finance, often arising from allegations of misuse of funds or fraud by the attorney appointed to make financial decisions on behalf of someone who lacks capacity. But the report implies that many complaints are unsubstantiated and cause major problems for families trying to pay for care. Evete Hall, who applied for an LPA for her father after he suffered a stroke and showed signs of dementia, said an OPG investigation meant she could not pay for his care out of his pension income. “Debts are racking up and money is going out,” she tells the Telegraph.

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  • Overall care home performance drops in more than a third of Councils

    Overall care home performance drops in more than a third of Councils

    12.03.19 A review of Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections has revealed that the overall quality of care homes has worsened in more than a third of local authorities. Comparing inspection data in January 2019 with the previous January, charity Independent Age discovered that performance dropped in 37% of councils, compared with 22% during the year before. In the Manchester local authority area 44% of care homes were rated inadequate or requires improvement, the charity said. George McNamara, Independent Age’s director of policy and influencing, said the government had done nothing to address the quality of care for older people, “many of whom live with conditions such as dementia and who are being robbed of their ability to enjoy life as much as possible.” The charity said that more than 2.6 million older people live in areas where increasing numbers of homes are rated inadequate or requires improvement, meaning that they “have no choice but to choose a poorly performing care home.

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