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  • NICE issues antipsychotic medication note

    NICE issues antipsychotic medication note

    11.12.18 Antipsychotic medications should only be tried if a person with dementia is at risk of harming themselves or others, or if they are severely distressed, says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in a new information note. The antipsychotic should be tried “alongside other activities to try to help their distress,” says NICE, which recommends first attempting to calm the person with things like music, exercise and aromatherapy. “The person should be assessed at least every six weeks and the antipsychotic should be stopped if it is not helping or is no longer needed,” it says. “The person does not have to have an antipsychotic. There are pros and cons...” The information note is intended to help people with dementia, family carers and their health professionals discuss the options.

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  • Mental Health Act review

    Mental Health Act review

    10.12.18 An independent review of the Mental Health Act has published recommendations calling for far more legal weight to be attached to the views and wishes of people detained under the legislation. Sally Copley, Alzheimer’s Society policy director, said “As it stands, there is no requirement to involve a person with dementia in decisions that affect their care,” Copley said. “Listening to a person in care should never be optional and it is incredibly alarming to hear of instances when decisions - including being sectioned - have been made without the person and their family knowing. Such actions dangerously enter into rights abuse, and we urgently need to provide clarity for people with dementia and their families, who are facing the added difficulty of an impenetrably complex system at a distressing time.” The independent review was commissioned by the government and led by Sir Simon Wessely, former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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  • E-Newsletter  7 Dec 2018

    E-Newsletter 7 Dec 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include an independent review of the Mental Health Act and an information note from NICE on th erole of antipsychotic medicine. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Community links and activity, but still a task-based culture

    Community links and activity, but still a task-based culture

    Jenny West and Asa Johnson left their jobs helping care homes enhance care in the UK to spend time working in a home in Peru. Now they have returned, they share some of their observations and thoughts on the experience

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  • Being a disruptor in dementia care

    Being a disruptor in dementia care

    Disruptors are innovators but not all innovators are disruptors. In what he describes as a relatively conservative care home sector, David Sheard argues that there is a need for more disruptive innovation because disruption is the “new normal”

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  • Dance and movement brings connection

    Dance and movement brings connection

    People in the advanced stages of dementia living in care homes are too easily overlooked when it comes to activities. Louise Money and Samantha Bolam describe how dance and movement can be a way to connect with them

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  • JDC Asks...

    JDC Asks...

    How has dementia care changed since Tom Kitwood's ground-breaking book Dementia Reconsidered was first published in 1997?

    At our UK Dementia Congress in Brighton, on 7 November, this year’s Tom Kitwood Memorial Address was entitled “Dementia Reconsidered, Revisited: The Person Still Comes First”. This is also the title of Professor Dawn Brooker’s important new book to be published early next year, which reprints Kitwood’s Dementia Reconsidered: The person comes first and adds expert commentaries for a contemporary and critical perspective. Dawn was joined by some of the distinguished commentators at our event.

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  • Study looks at benefits of yoga for older people

    Study looks at benefits of yoga for older people

    07.12.18 A four-year £1.4 million study will look at the benefits of yoga for older people with multiple long-term conditions, including dementia, and examine the extent to which it can improve physical function and mental health. Researchers at Northumbria and York universities want to see whether yoga counters the tendency of multiple conditions to curtail physical function, lower quality of life and cause mental health problems. The study will involve nearly 600 adults aged 65 and over across 12 UK locations, half of whom will receive their usual care while the other half receive usual care plus a “Gentle Years Yoga” programme. Explaining the success of an earlier pilot programme, Professor Garry Tew from Northumbria University said: “Common yoga poses are adapted so they can be done using chairs, so that inactive older adults with long-term conditions such as osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and dementia can safely participate."

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  • Simple GP tests for dementia often wrong, research finds

    Simple GP tests for dementia often wrong, research finds

    06.12.18 Simple tests like the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) to help GPs detect possible dementia in their patients often get it wrong, scientists claim. Study findings published this week indicate that more than one-third of patients were misclassified – either as having or not having dementia – after taking one of these tests, which included the Memory Impairment Screen and Animal Naming which gives patients one minute to name as many animals as they can. "Dementia can be difficult to accurately detect, particularly in a primary care setting," said author Janice Ranson from Exeter University Medical School, although she admitted that the rapid tests "are important screening tools to help clinicians decide who is likely to benefit from further testing for dementia." The researchers, whose paper was published in the journal Neurology Clinical Practice, suggest various reasons for the misclassifications, including an education bias in one of the tests.

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  • Wales cross party group on dementia investigates hospital care

    Wales cross party group on dementia investigates hospital care

    05.12.18 Standards of hospital care for people with dementia are being investigated by Welsh National Assembly members drawn from all political parties. The assembly’s cross-party group on dementia wants to hear from people in Wales following a pledge in the Welsh Dementia Action Plan to take action on improving hospital care for people with dementia. One person living with dementia is quoted as saying: “Most of the nurses, especially in the general ward, just don’t have a clue. They’re just not getting the education on how to deal with people with dementia.” The inquiry plans to gather oral and written evidence until June next year, then produce a report in the autumn. It particularly wants to hear from people affected by dementia, voluntary organisations, and health care professionals and providers.

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