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  • Dementia Research Institute recruits care research lead

    Dementia Research Institute recruits care research lead

    20.02.19 The new Dementia Research Institute (DRI), the flagship project launched with £250 million in government and voluntary sector funds, is looking for an associate director to lead its care and technology programme. DRI head Bart de Strooper said he was casting the net wide: “There is enormous potential when we bring together people from outside the field and get them to work hand in hand with those with a deep knowledge of dementia, whether that be clinicians, professional experts or people living with dementia,” he commented. The DRI’s care and technology programme has a £20 million budget and aims to push the boundaries of research. More info HERE.

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  • 'Citizen enablement' to replace 'social care?'

    'Citizen enablement' to replace 'social care?'

    19.02.19 The term “social care” carries heavy overtones of passivity and could be replaced with a term like “citizen enablement,” suggests Philly Hare in a blog for the website Social Care Future. While people with dementia can “recover voice, control, identity and a place in their relationships and communities,” she says, “the very phrase ‘social care’ ties us up in knots.” “It carries heavy overtones of passivity, of being ‘done to’ and ‘cared-for’, of tasks not processes, of institutions not relationships... So how about reframing social care as something like ‘Citizen Enablement’? For the blog, click HERE.

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  • Alzheimer’s Society launches physical activity and family carer guides

    Alzheimer’s Society launches physical activity and family carer guides

    18.02.19 Alzheimer’s Society has teamed up with Sport England to produce a dementia-friendly sport and physical activity guide. It is intended for personal trainers, coaches and others involved in leisure centres, sports clubs and gyms, showing them how to help people with dementia lead active lives and remain independent for as long as possible. The guide may also be useful for physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Sport England and Alzheimer’s Society are calling on the sports sector to dismantle the barriers preventing people affected by dementia from engaging in physical activities. The free guide is available HERE

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  • Alzheimer's map provides 'huge opportunity' for researchers

    Alzheimer's map provides 'huge opportunity' for researchers

    15.02.19 A dataset described as the “biggest ever map” of the human Alzheimer’s brain has been produced by a research team led by Manchester University. It maps the relative levels of over 5,825 distinct proteins across six regions of the brain, showing how they vary from levels in the normal brain. Dr Richard Unwin said: “The database provides a huge opportunity for dementia researchers around the world to progress and to follow up new areas of biology and develop new treatments. Alzheimer’s disease arises in the hippocampus and spreads through pathways in the brain. By looking at different parts of that pathway, the team were able to observe for the first time how Alzheimer’s progresses in more detail.” More info HERE

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  • 'Budget' wifi service launched to establish connected care homes

    'Budget' wifi service launched to establish connected care homes

    14.02.19 Wireless internet specialist Vital Wifi has launched a service called SeniorConnect, a dedicated wifi service for care homes. The company says the service provides 100% coverage, includes a guide for care home owners titled “The Connected Care Home”, and is suited to organisations on a tight budget. SeniorConnect provides easy and safe access to internet services for residents and their families, according to the company, as well as delivering connectivity for critical care home services. “Two recent surveys reveal that wifi is top of the agenda when it comes to lifestyle priorities for those looking for a care home. This wouldn’t be so remarkable if it wasn’t for the fact that most care homes don’t offer wifi: only 1 in 5 do so according to Citizens Advice,” said Joe Burnell, director of Vital Wifi.

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  • Numbers leaving work to care for older relatives rise

    Numbers leaving work to care for older relatives rise

    13.02.19 More than 600 people quit work every day so that they can look after older and disabled relatives, according to the charity Carers UK. New research from the charity reveals that 2.6 million people overall have left their jobs for this purpose, 468,000 of whom have stopped work in the past two years. It represents a 12% increase since the last poll in 2013. Carers UK said the findings also indicated that working people spent more time caring for relatives than previously thought – almost five million workers now juggle their job with caring, up from three million in 2011. Helen Walker, Carers UK chief executive, said: “Better workplace support for people juggling paid work with caring for a loved one is becoming an increasingly important issue, with a growing need for employers to improve flexibility and, with an ageing population, support people to keep working for longer, contributing to better productivity.”

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  • Open online course for supporting people with advanced dementia

    Open online course for supporting people with advanced dementia

    12.02.19 Family carers and health care professionals have collaborated with Newcastle University researchers to develop a free online course on supporting people with advanced dementia. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which launches on 18 March, aims to help family carers as loved ones approach the end of life, although the university said it would also be useful for health and social care practitioners. The three week course – “Dementia Care: Living Well as Dementia Progresses” – is intended to help learners understand dementia as a progressive illness, plan for the future, ensure quality of life and comfort, and recognise their own needs. More info HERE

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  • Scottish Government misses post-diagnostic care targets

    Scottish Government misses post-diagnostic care targets

    11.02.19 The Scottish Government has run into controversy after missing dementia care targets by a wide margin. New figures from NHS Scotland reveal that just 39% of people newly diagnosed with the condition got post-diagnostic support, even though the government promised five years ago that everyone newly diagnosed would receive a minimum of 12 months’ support. Of the 17,496 people diagnosed north of the border in 2016/17, only 6,830 got post-diagnostic support according to the figures. The charity Age Scotland branded the figures as “inexcusable”. Age Scotland chief executive Brian Sloan added: “Not only have 61% of people newly diagnosed with dementia gone without the promised care, but less than half of the total were actually referred in the first place. This is clearly not good enough and is a staggering disservice to those living with dementia, their carers and family.”

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  • E-Newsletter 8 Feb 2019

    E-Newsletter 8 Feb 2019

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include a new low cost wifi service for care homes and a new MOOC (massive open online course) for supporting people with advanced dementia. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Genie robot to support independent living

    Genie robot to support independent living

    08.02.19 Computer technologists in Gloucestershire are working on a small robot to support independent living among older people, incorporating “dementia and elderly care technologies to provide reminiscence and memory stimulation”. The Genie Connect robot, developed by the University of Gloucestershire and the company Services Robotics, can answer questions, give reminders and project reminiscence photos and videos on to a screen in response to verbal commands. It is wireless and can sit on a side table. According to a report on the Punchline website, the robot is designed to act as a “companion” and help people manage their health by doing such things as remind them to take their medication.

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