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  • Voices of dying people help others

    Voices of dying people help others

    08.12.17 The charity Compassion in Dying has launched what it says is an innovative publication using the authentic voices of dying people to empower others to make informed decisions about their care and treatment. Over 600 dying people and their carers contributed to the development of the new booklet, called “What Now? Questions to ask after a terminal diagnosis.” Helping people to ask questions, find the information they need and make the decisions that are right for them, the booklet contains direct quotes from dying people and carers about their experiences of receiving and living with a terminal diagnosis. To find out more, click HERE

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  • Tackle risk factors, conference told

    Tackle risk factors, conference told

    07.12.17 Claudia Cooper, from UCL’s Division of Psychiatry, told a London conference last week that by delaying the onset of dementia by five years across the population, the prevalence of the condition would be cut in half. Speaking about modifiable risk factors for dementia Cooper, who contributed to the Lancet Commission study on dementia prevention, said that lifestyle changes like diet and exercise could make an enormous difference. Increasing public awareness of dementia had brought rising numbers of people to memory clinics, she said, some of whom were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). “If you give people a diagnosis of MCI with a heightened risk of dementia, then you’ve got to do everything you can to help and support that person to deal with the risk factors,” she added.

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  • Camera technology for patient safety

    Camera technology for patient safety

    06.12.17 A Midlands hospital is to deploy camera technology to “monitor and optimise” the treatment of patients with dementia. The camera-based health and activity monitoring technology will be used on two wards at Manor Hospital in Nuneaton, run by Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust. According to the trust, the system relies on computer software that turns digital video cameras into health monitors, the aim being to improve quality of care and support staff workflows. It says the system, supplied by tech company Oxehealth, will help to manage the risk of patient falls by reporting on activities such as getting out of bed, “enabling staff to intervene before a fall occurs.” The prototype software will be used in 12 bedrooms over a period of 18 months, during which time it is hoped to customise the technology for further wards. The trust said successful trials at Broadmoor had demonstrated effectiveness of the technology in monitoring secure mental health hospital patients.

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  • Dementia diagnosis meetings

    Dementia diagnosis meetings

    05.12.17 A study of memory clinic meetings, in which doctors delivered dementia diagnoses to patients, found a mixture of approaches as they tried to break the news sensitively but there was always clarity about the diagnosis. “All doctors used the word dementia very clearly, not skirting around the word as was done with cancer back in the 1970s,” said Professor McCabe who led the study, speaking at a young onset dementia conference organised by UCL and JDC. The doctors gave the diagnosis in “direct” terms (41% of cases) and were “indirect” in 59% of cases. Indirect delivery involved the doctor saying something like “there is a problem and what’s causing the problem is Alzheimer’s disease,” leaving the patient to infer that they actually had the disease. In direct diagnoses, doctors said something like “I think you’ve got Alzheimer’s disease.” McCabe said it was important to be clear about the diagnosis while helping patients to see that they still had a future.

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  • E-Newsletter 1 Dec 2017

    E-Newsletter 1 Dec 2017

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week topics include patient safety and the Young Onset Dementia conference in London. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • FT Seasonal Appeal focuses on dementia research

    FT Seasonal Appeal focuses on dementia research

    1.12.17 The Financial Times is devoting its Christmas “Seasonal Appeal” to raising money for dementia research. The paper said that dementia had “emerged from the shadows” and the seeds of a movement had been sown which could lead to a cure. In an interesting long article introducing the appeal, the FT’s Sarah Neville describes the late author Terry Pratchett, who had young onset dementia, as the “Che Guevara of this social revolution”. She adds: “Rather than being robbed of a voice, those living with the condition are insisting on their continued humanity even as they lose the very faculties that most define us as human.” Money from the appeal will go to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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  • Artist wanted to help people with a diagnosis to plan for future

    Artist wanted to help people with a diagnosis to plan for future

    1.12.17 An artist is needed to help create a “mapping tool” designed to assist people in planning for the future if they receive a dementia diagnosis. A partnership between Mersey Care and London Arts in Health Forum is exploring ways in which the arts can help people in this situation and the mapping tool will enable them to focus on their strengths and resources as they prepare for what lies ahead. The partners want to commission a visual artist to create the tool, using anything from drawing to digital applications, so people can map and visually record the positive aspects of their lives. The deadline for applications is 4 December. More information HERE

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  • Budget disappoints as NHS faces tough choices on health care

    Budget disappoints as NHS faces tough choices on health care

    30.11.17 An extra £2.8 billion funding for the NHS, announced in the Budget, has been welcomed by health leaders, although the general view is that it is nowhere near enough. Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said that chancellor Philip Hammond had ducked an opportunity to tackle head on the government’s commitment to dementia care. “The extra money for the NHS is hugely needed, but by neglecting social care the government is just filling up a bucket with holes in it,” he said. NHS Providers said it was “disappointing” the NHS had not been given all it needed to cope with rising demand. “Tough choices are now needed and trade-offs will have to be made,” said chief executive Chris Hopson. “It is difficult to see how the NHS can deliver everything in 2018/19 …We are still trying to live hand to mouth without a sustainable long-term financial and capital settlement for the health and care sector. This makes it impossible to plan effectively.”

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  • Higher education lecturers say all workers should have dementia training

    Higher education lecturers say all workers should have dementia training

    29.11.17 The Higher Education Dementia Network (HEDN) has called for dementia education for all social and health care professionals in a new position paper. Pointing out that there are predicted to be one million people with dementia by 2025, HEDN said this showed care of people with dementia was “relevant to the entire health, social care and housing system.” Professor Claire Surr, from Leeds Beckett University, said: “Professional bodies have a clear role to play in ensuring the health, social care and housing workforce are meeting the needs of those affected by dementia. We would like to see national knowledge and skills frameworks established as a required and monitored sector minimum standard. We recommend that application of the frameworks become a requirement for (re)validation of health, social care and housing pre-qualifying education.”

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  • E-Newsletter 24 November 2017

    E-Newsletter 24 November 2017

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week topics include football, NHS budgets and Higher Education Dementia Network. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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