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  • Young onset dementia national charity seeks new chair

    Young onset dementia national charity seeks new chair

    22.02.18 YoungDementia UK is looking for a new chair to help establish it as the "primary young onset dementia charity in the UK". Starting in July, the chair of trustees will be appointed for three years initially, providing strategic leadership at a "pivotal moment of national development and growth," as the charity develops a programme of activities to reach out to more people with young onset dementia and give them more support. For more information, contact Tessa Gutteridge at tessagutteridge@youngdementiauk.org

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  • New drug may allay psychosis symptoms but avoid side-effects

    New drug may allay psychosis symptoms but avoid side-effects

    21.02.18 A new drug called Pimavanserin may provide a relatively safe way to alleviate psychosis symptoms in people with dementia when non-pharmacological approaches fail. Findings from Exeter University, published in the journal Lancet Neurology, suggest that Pimavanserin avoids the dangerous side-effects associated with traditional anti-psychotic medications. Professor Clive Ballard, who led the study, said: "It's particularly encouraging that most benefit was seen in those with the most severe psychotic symptoms, as this group is most likely to be prescribed antipsychotics. We are talking about vulnerable elderly, frail people who are suffering terrifying symptoms, being sedated with current antipsychotics even though it's well known that they cause terrible health issues and even death in people with dementia, and have very little benefit. We urgently need to do better by them, and our encouraging results provide hope."

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  • DoLS inquiry launched by parliament as government prepares plans

    DoLS inquiry launched by parliament as government prepares plans

    20.02.18 An inquiry into the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) has been launched by the parliamentary joint committee on human rights. It comes ahead of the government's plans for reforming DoLS due in the Spring, which will themselves be a response to Law Commission proposals to replace DoLS with a new system of Liberty Protection Safeguards. The joint committee has issued an open call for evidence in the form of written submissions by 2 March, looking in particular at whether the Law Commission proposals strike the right balance between protecting human rights and the onerous requirements of DoLS. It also wants to hear whether the government should implement the Liberty Protection Safeguards as a matter of urgency and whether a definition of deprivation of liberty for care and treatment should be debated by parliament and set out in statute.

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  • E-Newsletter 16 February 2018

    E-Newsletter 16 February 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include the DoLS' parliamentary inquiry, specialist housing to improve older people's wellbeing and a study into the concept of 'best interests' in the Mental Capacity Act. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Leading woman academic gets accolade for championing older people

    Leading woman academic gets accolade for championing older people

    16.02.18 Professor Julienne Meyer, who leads a UK-wide programme to promote quality of life for people living and working in care homes, has been named one of the "University of London's Leading Women" as part of 150th anniversary celebrations of the first women admitted to the university. Meyer is professor of nursing at City, University of London, and is executive director of My Home Life, which collaborates with care homes to develop new, more person-centred ways of working with older people. Meyer said: "Throughout my career, I have always been interested in inequalities, which has often placed me working at the margins. Championing the needs of frail older people, especially those living in care homes, is not always viewed as high profile work. If I have done anything to help address these issues, then I am delighted."

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  • New housing support service specialises in dementia

    New housing support service specialises in dementia

    15.02.18 A housing support service specifically for people with dementia has been launched in Leeds. Called "Engage Leeds", the service provides support to maintain a tenancy, support to move home and support managing bills, among other things. The housing support workers with Engage Leeds specialise in the needs of people with dementia. More details on this link www.engageleeds.org.uk.

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  • E-Newsletter 9 Feb 2018

    E-Newsletter 9 Feb 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include social interaction in care homes and social care funding. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Animation accompanies publicity for new book by Wendy Mitchell

    Animation accompanies publicity for new book by Wendy Mitchell

    14.02.18 Following all the excellent publicity for the launch of Wendy Mitchell's memoir, Somebody I Used to Know, the book's publisher Bloomsbury Publishing have produced a nice animation to go with it. Articles in the Guardian and the Daily Mail were accompanied by interviews on Radio 4's Today programme and Channel 4 News when the book came out last week. Wendy was diagnosed with young onset dementia at the age of 58. Link to the animation HERE

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  • Major study to improve well-being

    Major study to improve well-being

    13.02.18 Just one hour of social interaction every week improves the quality of life of people with dementia when it is combined with personalised care. Yet in many care homes, residents with dementia have as little as two minutes of social interaction each day. These are the findings of a large-scale study, which involved training key care home staff to take simple steps like talking to residents about their interests and engaging with them on decisions about their own care. The study trial involved more than 800 people with dementia across 69 care homes in north and south London and in Buckinghamshire. Researchers hope that the lessons will be spread more widely. The findings are from the Improving Wellbeing and Health for People with Dementia (WHELD) trial and were published this week in the journal PLOS Medicine. Watch a video of care home staff talking about the training programme HERE

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  • Javid's £150m 'not enough' for social care

    Javid's £150m 'not enough' for social care

    12.02.18 An extra £150 million is to be pumped into social care in 2018/19 in an attempt by the government to alleviate the crisis in local authority services identified by a National Audit Office report this week. Local government secretary Sajid Javid said the money would be allocated on the basis of "relative need". But the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) was dismissive. "Considering councils need more than £2 billion just to stand still in 2018/19, this is not going to make a great difference," said ADASS president Margaret Willcox. In its report the National Audit Office said it was no longer possible to fill key social care posts because of low rates of pay and workload pressures. It described social care as a "Cinderella service" which had been let down by a lack of government planning and funding. Click HERE

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