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  • 'Excess deaths' fall below average for the first time since March

    'Excess deaths' fall below average for the first time since March

    06.07.20 Care home coronavirus deaths continue to fall, according to the latest official data from the Office for National Statistics, and “excess deaths” from all causes have fallen below the five-year average for the first time in more than three months. In the week ending 19 June, the number of deaths in care homes fell below the five-year average for the first time since the week ending 13 March. The number of excess deaths also decreased in all settings compared with the previous week. There were 49 fewer deaths in care homes than the five-year average during the week to 19 June. But Alzheimer’s Society warned against complacency. “Tragically, people with dementia have been worst hit by this crisis, representing over a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths, twice as many people dying at the height of the pandemic compared with previous years,” said the Society’s head of policy Gavin Terry.

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  • Government announces phased moved to repeat testing in care homes

    Government announces phased moved to repeat testing in care homes

    03.07.20 All care home staff and residents will be given regular coronavirus tests starting from Monday 6 July, the government has said. The care home sector has been calling for repeat testing for months as the only way to control the outbreak and under this new initiative staff are due to be tested every week and residents once a month. The Department for Health and Social Care said that care homes primarily looking after over-65s or people with dementia would be prioritised for repeat testing from 6 July, before the scheme is rolled out to all care homes looking after adults in August. Repeat testing, which will identify asymptomatic residents and staff, will apply in addition to the existing intensive testing of care homes facing an outbreak or the risk of an outbreak. Sector leaders welcomed the move.

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  • E-Newsletter - 3 July 2020

    E-Newsletter - 3 July 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include the announcement of repeat Covid-19 testing in care homes and a fall below average of "excess deaths" in care homes. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Our day out: an arts programme in rural Norfolk

    Our day out: an arts programme in rural Norfolk

    Evidence is growing for the benefits of the arts for people with dementia, but those living in rural communities can be hard to reach. Hannah Zeilig explains how one project found an answer

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  • Reasons for hope in the post-Covid 2020s

    Reasons for hope in the post-Covid 2020s

    Despite the grim consequences of Covid-19 for our personal and economic health, there are reasons for optimism. Jeremy Hughes argues that it could galvanise change in dementia care

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  • Making our voices heard: campaigning for the rights of marginalised groups

    Making our voices heard: campaigning for the rights of marginalised groups

    Marginalised groups are beginning to make their voices heard as the National Dementia Action Alliance forces the pace. Sarah Tilsed shows how its work is making an impact.

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  • JDC Asks...

    JDC Asks...

    The ‘JDC asks’ column invites a varied and interesting line-up of contributors to consider topical issues. For the July/August 2020 issue we asked:

    "What is the most important lesson to be learned by the care sector from the coronavirus outbreak?"

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  • Films made by people with dementia now available online

    Films made by people with dementia now available online

    03.07.20 A collection of short films by people with dementia is now available to be viewed here on the DEEP website. The films, funded by a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, were made by groups from around the country: Ashford Phoenix, Pathways in Bradford, a peer support group at the Beth Johnson Foundation and the SUNshiners. According to Rachael Litherland from Innovations in Dementia, which hosts the DEEP network of dementia voices, the 22 films showcase myriad ways in which people are living with dementia and show that, though a diagnosis of dementia might be life-changing, it need not be life-ending.

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  • Pandemic should be spark for worldwide action, ADI says

    Pandemic should be spark for worldwide action, ADI says

    02.07.20 Progress towards the goal of having national dementia plans in 146 member states of the World Health Organisation is “still too slow,” Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) has said. In an update on global developments, ADI sees the Covid-19 pandemic as a wake-up call and presses for urgent action on national plans, which have been developed by only 19% of member states. “World governments must heed the lessons of the current Covid-19 pandemic, which has revealed the necessity of working proactively to prepare for the growing numbers of people living with dementia and to safeguard against the disproportionate impact that such pandemics have on the dementia community,” ADI said.

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  • Documentary pioneer and 'relentless fighter' for better care dies

    Documentary pioneer and 'relentless fighter' for better care dies

    01.07.20 Barbara Pointon, whose role in a landmark TV documentary helped to put dementia in the public limelight, has died. In 1999, she appeared in ITV’s Malcolm and Barbara: A Love Story, in which she was shown caring for her husband Malcolm who had dementia. The programme received extensive media attention and was the first to get the nation talking about dementia as an issue. Barbara herself had recently been diagnosed with a rapidly progressive dementia and had been living with the condition for two years. In 2004, she won an important legal case, in which it was ruled that the NHS should fund nursing care in people’s own homes, a significant milestone in the development of NHS Continuing Health Care to cover some health needs of people with dementia.

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