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  • New dementia ID cards

    New dementia ID cards

    07.08.20 Another initiative from the Young Dementia Network is young onset dementia ID cards, one for use by the person themselves and the other by family members, supporters and carers. Personal information can be recorded on the cards that might be useful if assistance is needed. Additionally, the network has created a document providing guidance for dementia support workers, dementia advisers and key workers who usually support older people with dementia. The guidance, developed by younger people with dementia themselves, outlines the issues younger people with the condition face in particular. Go to www.youngdementiauk.org

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  • Pioneering music therapy project Music in Mind goes online

    Pioneering music therapy project Music in Mind goes online

    06.08.20 Manchester Camerata, which runs the pioneering music therapy project Music in Mind, has received a £50,000 grant so that it can be delivered online. Due to start in September, Music in Mind: Remote is intended to give “emergency relief” from isolation for people with dementia in care homes. In the project, Manchester Camerata’s orchestra team up with music therapists for group-based musical improvisation, aimed at encouraging people with dementia to express themselves and communicate with others. The grant, from the government’s Innovate UK programme, will pay for instructional videos, guides to delivering musical activities and online support from consultant music therapists. More information here

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  • Young dementia 'Personal Checklist' to record symptoms

    Young dementia 'Personal Checklist' to record symptoms

    05.08.20 The Young Dementia Network, a YoungDementia UK initiative, has launched a Personal Checklist endorsed by Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dementia UK and YoungDementia UK. Created at the suggestion of a person living with young onset, it is designed for anyone who has concerns about the signs and symptoms of young onset dementia. It is not a diagnostic tool but is intended to be used as a checklist which individuals can use to record symptoms they - or a family member or friend - may be experiencing so as to aid discussion with their GP. Go to www.youngdementiauk.org/personal-checklist

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  • Welsh study finds frequency of outbreaks unaffected by discharges

    Welsh study finds frequency of outbreaks unaffected by discharges

    04.08.20 A study by Public Health Wales appears to contradict the view that hospital discharges to care homes led to coronavirus outbreaks among residents. According to the BBC, more than 1,000 patients were discharged without tests to care homes in Wales in the early stages of the pandemic, but the study suggests that the type and size of care home was a contributing factor to the spread of the virus rather than the discharge process itself. “Outbreaks were more likely in larger homes, and those with nursing and specialist dementia care provision,” said Public Health Wales. But it added that, after adjusting for the size of the home, “there was no additional frequency in the number of outbreaks occurring in care homes following discharges when compared to no discharges.” The study was conducted among care homes in south-east Wales.

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  • MHA frustration as test kit withdrawal hampers visits

    MHA frustration as test kit withdrawal hampers visits

    03.08.20 Safety issues with one brand of coronavirus test kits have forced their withdrawal and prevented families from visiting residents. Swabs in Randox kits have been found “not up to standard” and care homes using them will be unable to ensure that visits are safe until replacement kits have been sourced. Care provider Methodist Homes (MHA) voiced frustration that it had been without routine testing for residents and staff for more than two weeks because of safety issues with Randox tests. MHA chief executive Sam Monaghan said: “For a few weeks it felt like we could start to re-introduce some semblance of normality back into our homes, welcoming back health visitors, outdoor socially distanced visits where it was safe to do so and awaiting the green light from local public health for more family contact. We are now heading into our third week of no testing for the majority of our care homes following the Randox debacle and we understand it will be weeks before it is rectified."

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  • Lancet Commission highlights three new dementia risk factors

    Lancet Commission highlights three new dementia risk factors

    01.08.20 Three new risk factors for dementia have been identified in an update to guidance here from the Lancet Commission on dementia risk reduction. The new risk factors are excessive alcohol consumption, head injury and air pollution, adding to the nine risk factors originally identified in 2017. By modifying lifestyles where possible up to 40% of dementia could be prevented or delayed. “Our report shows that it is within the power of policymakers and individuals to prevent and delay a significant proportion of dementia, with opportunities to make an impact at each stage of a person’s life,” said the report’s lead author Professor Gill Livingston from University College London. “Interventions are likely to have the biggest impact on those who are disproportionately affected by dementia risk factors, like those in low- and middle-income countries and vulnerable populations…

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  • Social care could be brought under NHS control, report suggests

    Social care could be brought under NHS control, report suggests

    31.07.20 Social care could be brought under the control of the NHS, a story in the Guardian suggests. Under Downing Street plans apparently briefed to the newspaper, David Cameron’s former policy chief Camilla Cavendish would be brought in to shake up social care, and the NHS would be given a sizeable budget increase to £150 billion. But local authorities, currently responsible for social care, would be likely to fight the proposal which would see them lose a massive chunk of their budgets.

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  • E-Newsletter - 31 July 2020

    E-Newsletter - 31 July 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include frustration as test kit withdrawal hampers visits, the Public Accounts Committee report accusing the government of a "slow, inconsistent and at times negligent approach to social care" and a pioneering music therapy project. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • E-Newsletter - 24 July 2020

    E-Newsletter - 24 July 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include new research on isolation as a risk factor for dementia and the latest on coronavirus. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Learning from the pandemic for future models of care

    Learning from the pandemic for future models of care

    31.07.20 A discursive article in the International section of the Economist says a lesson from the pandemic is that most people should be helped in their own homes as they age. In the world’s richer countries nearly half of all deaths from Covid-19 have happened in care and nursing homes, it says, even though less than 1% of people live in them. “The problem is not only that the residents’ age makes them particularly vulnerable, but also that their living arrangements created opportunities for the virus to spread,” the Economist argues. “Countries with fewer care homes have had fewer Covid-19 deaths, all else being equal. The number of care home beds explains 28% of the variation in death rates among European countries and 16% among American states, according to a study by Neil Gandal and colleagues at Tel Aviv University.”

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