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  • Black men get fewer diagnoses despite higher dementia prevalence

    Black men get fewer diagnoses despite higher dementia prevalence

    04.08.18 Black men developing dementia are 11% less likely to get a diagnosis than white men, even though dementia prevalence is higher in black men. Alzheimer’s Society chief policy and research officer Dr Doug Brown, commenting on the research discussed at AAIC, said the findings were part of a “worrying pattern”. He added: “Everyone has the right to know what condition they have and the right to the care and support they need.”

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  • Apply for DEEP involvement grants

    Apply for DEEP involvement grants

    03.08.18 Applications are open for grants from the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP) to increase the involvement of people with dementia. There are “influencing grants” of up to £2,000 to help with local influencing work, such as the costs of running a group, and “working together” grants of up to £7,500 to enable two or more DEEP groups to work together to strengthen connections. Deadline for grant applications is 4 September. Forms can be downloaded at http://dementiavoices.org.uk/2018/07/deep-grants-2018-scotland and http://dementiavoices.org.uk/2018/07/deep-grants-2018-england-wales- northern-ireland/

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  • Online training prompts staff interaction with residents

    Online training prompts staff interaction with residents

    02.08.18 An e-learning programme that trains care home staff to engage in meaningful social interaction with people who have dementia improves wellbeing and has sustained benefits. A study of 280 residents and care staff in 24 care homes over nine months showed that the e-learning programme improved residents’ wellbeing and staff attitudes to person-centred care. The study, results from which were presented at AAIC in Chicago, follows findings from the WHELD programme which found that just 10 minutes of social interaction a day between staff and residents with dementia was enough to improve wellbeing. People with dementia in care homes experienced just two minutes of social interaction each day on average, WHELD researchers found. They also showed that out of 170 available training programmes for nursing home staff, only three were evidence-based – none of which improved quality of life.

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  • Care home lighting may be to blame for residents' insomnia

    Care home lighting may be to blame for residents' insomnia

    01.08.18 Disrupted sleep and insomnia in care homes may be the result of subdued lighting, another study presented at AAIC has found. Research lead Dr Mariana Figueiro told the Chicago conference: “The constant dim light typically experienced by people living in residential care facilities may be an underlying cause of the sleep pattern disturbances so commonly found in this population.” In a New York study of 43 care home residents, researchers tried various lighting interventions, finding that increasing light during the day and making sure lights were turned off at night reset residents’ “biological clocks” so that they slept better. After six months, participants showed significant decreases in sleep disturbance, depression and agitation.

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  • Drugs for sleep and pain putting lives in danger

    Drugs for sleep and pain putting lives in danger

    31.07.18 Overuse of sleeping and pain relief medications is putting the lives of thousands of dementia patients in danger and exposing them to the risk of sickness and broken bones, the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Chicago was told this week. Professor Clive Ballard from Exeter University said that such medications were seen as a “relatively easy” option but insisted: “If you give older people sedative drugs you’re not doing them any favours.” Chronic pain and sleep problems affect about half of people with dementia, something like 80,000 of them taking sleeping medications and up to 120,000 being given opioid painkillers. In one study of 2,952 patients taking “Z-drug” sleeping medications, they were 40% more likely than average to suffer fractures, 59% more likely to have broken a hip and 34% more likely to have died during the next two years.

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  • Heatwave causes sharp rise in hospital admissions from care homes

    Heatwave causes sharp rise in hospital admissions from care homes

    30.07.18 Soaring temperatures have led to calls for greater heatwave resilience in care homes amid reports that more residents are being admitted to hospital. With temperatures rising to 37 degrees in some areas, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said the Care Quality Commission (CQC) should inspect care homes for heatwave resilience, “and ensure that overheating risk forms part of its inspection for safety and suitability of health and social care premises.” MPs on the committee pointed to the 2003 heatwave, which resulted in 2,193 heat-related deaths in the UK between 4-13 August, a quarter of them in care homes. Excess deaths in care homes rose by 42% in parts of the UK that month, the committee reported. “Hospitals, care and nursing homes are vulnerable to overheating,” the committee added.

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  • E-Newsletter 27 July 2018

    E-Newsletter 27 July 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include heatwave resilience in care homes, research findings presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Chicago and DEEP grants. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • New mortality statistics show sharp rise in deaths from dementia

    New mortality statistics show sharp rise in deaths from dementia

    27.07.18 Deaths from dementia have risen sharply, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Between 2016 and 2017, deaths from dementia rose by 7.4%, compared with a 1.6% increase in the number of deaths in England and Wales overall. Mortality rates from dementia have more than doubled over the past decade, the ONS said, while those for Alzheimer’s disease have gone up by 70.8% over the same period. ONS statistician Vasita Patel said mortality rates for cancers, respiratory diseases and circulatory diseases had decreased, but they had gone up for “mental and behavioural disorders, such as dementia, and diseases of the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.” But Patel cautioned that increasing mortality rates for dementia “could be partly linked to a better understanding of these conditions, which may have led to better identification and diagnoses.”

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  • Time to book for UK Dementia Congress in Brighton

    Time to book for UK Dementia Congress in Brighton

    26.07.18 The full programme is now available for the UK Dementia Congress, taking place in Brighton from 6 – 8 November. Among the many speakers over the three days of the event will be care minister Caroline Dinenage, national clinical director Alistair Burns, Alzheimer’s Disease International chief executive Paola Barbarino and Professor Dawn Brooker, who will be giving the Tom Kitwood Memorial Address. Professor Brooker and colleagues will be looking at Kitwood’s legacy in an address titled Dementia Reconsidered, Revisited: The Person Still Comes First. UKDC takes place this year at the Hilton Brighton Metropole. For the programme click HERE

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  • Only half of 5.7m Americans with dementia have a diagnosis

    Only half of 5.7m Americans with dementia have a diagnosis

    25.07.18 A “substantial majority” of American older adults with probable dementia have never been professionally diagnosed or are unaware that they have been, an analysis by Johns Hopkins University in the USA has found. An estimated 5.7 million people in the US have dementia but only half of them have a diagnosis. “There is a huge population out there living with dementia who don’t know about it,” said Halima Amjad, assistant professor of medicine at the university. “The implications are potentially profound for health care planning and delivery, patient-physician communication and much more.” The analysis, published in the July issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that unaccompanied visits to a doctor or clinic by an older person were a “strong risk factor” for lack of a formal diagnosis or awareness of diagnosis.

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