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  • Study of care homes will help in future outbreaks

    Study of care homes will help in future outbreaks

    30.06.20 A government-sponsored study of care home coronavirus infections is designed to give a detailed picture of how they spread so that homes can react quickly to future outbreaks. Around 10,000 residents and staff are taking part in the surveillance study, which involves repeat testing in more than 100 care homes in England. The study will track who has the virus, past exposure and infection over time. Dr Laura Shallcross, from UCL’s Institute of Health Informatics, said: “This study will provide unique insights into the proportion of care home staff and residents who have already been infected with Covid-19, and the proportion with an antibody response. We will also collect detailed information from care homes to try and understand why some care homes have had outbreaks and others have not. Taken together, this information will be used to inform the pandemic response in care homes and protect residents and staff from becoming infected with Covid-19 in the future.”

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  • DoLS replacement put on hold

    DoLS replacement put on hold

    29.06.20 Plans to replace the Mental Capacity Act deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) with new “liberty protection safeguards (LPS)” have been put on hold by the government. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has told the care sector “not to prioritise” LPS, which had been due for implementation in October. No new date for implementing the LPS, which were enshrined in law a year ago, has been given but it is now unlikely they will be implemented before October 2021. An email from the DHSC to the LPS Implementation Steering Group said: “We are acutely aware of the pressures that Covid-19 is exerting on the health and social care sector and understand that you may also be facing pressures too… At this time, we are considering the implementation timetable for LPS in light of the pandemic. In the meantime, we are not asking that LPS preparation be prioritised, which we will make clear in a national statement as soon as we can.”

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  • More than a quarter of people who died from Covid-19 had dementia

    More than a quarter of people who died from Covid-19 had dementia

    26.06.20 Nearly 13,000 of the 46,687 people who died of Covid-19 in the three months from March to May had dementia, according to new figures for England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS said on Tuesday that 12,856 of those who died had dementia, 27.5% of the total. “This tragic loss of life must not be repeated if there is another wave of the virus,” said Alzheimer’s Society director of research and influencing Fiona Carragher. “Lessons must be learned. But with no dementia representation on the government’s Social Care Taskforce it’s unclear how this is going to happen.”

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  • Policy now states people with dementia will be vaccine priority

    Policy now states people with dementia will be vaccine priority

    26.06.20 People with dementia will be among priority groups for a coronavirus vaccine when one is found. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a government body, has said frontline health and social care workers will have the highest priority, but next will be those at increased risk of serious health conditions including people with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society said it was “welcome news” - “a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths have been people with dementia and this is the first time it has been officially acknowledged that they are at greater risk,” said Fiona Carragher, director of research and influencing. The JCVI gave frontline workers highest priority because of the degree of their exposure to infection.

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  • E-Newsletter - 26 June 2020

    E-Newsletter - 26 June 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include an update on the DoLS replacement, a new study of care home coronavirus spread and an overview of the latest on Covid-19. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • 'Lives on Hold' campaign

    'Lives on Hold' campaign

    23.06.20 Admiral Nurse charity Dementia UK inaugurated its Lives on Hold campaign this week, aiming to highlight the fact that “lockdown” is something faced by dementia carers on a continuing basis rather than just during the coronavirus crisis. A video featuring well known faces who are also Dementia UK ambassadors, like actor Jim Broadbent and athlete Adelle Tracey, has been produced for the campaign launch. They all have relatives with dementia and they talk about what they miss about life before lockdown. The charity’s CEO, Hilda Hayo, said the pandemic had compounded the challenges already faced by families. Watch here

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  • Testing in Welsh care homes improves

    Testing in Welsh care homes improves

    22.06.20 A “small number” of Welsh care homes have refused to have coronavirus tests carried out on staff and residents, the Wales first minister Mark Drakeford said on Monday. “All care homes who are willing to be tested have had an offer of a test and in almost all of them those tests have been completed,” Wales Online reported him as saying. “But we are going beyond what we have already done by offering a test every week for the next four weeks to care home staff in Wales.” Mario Kreft, chair of Care Forum Wales, said there had been a “significant improvement” in testing. “As we prepare for a potential second wave, we are now in a much better place than we were before,” Kreft commented. “We now have a robust system where we are seeing very safe discharges from hospitals into care homes.”

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  • Loneliness Awareness Week sparks off range of initiatives

    Loneliness Awareness Week sparks off range of initiatives

    20.06.20 Initiatives to relieve loneliness during Loneliness Awareness Week this week have included BT’s announcement of a pilot project, in which volunteers will make regular calls to isolated care home residents. The company said it had assembled a team of more than 40 volunteers, from its contact centres in Gosforth and Doncaster, to lighten what it described as the “loneliness epidemic in care homes”. In the pilot scheme, which is at an early stage, volunteers work with care home managers to find residents with similar interests and residents can be provided with handsets and SIM cards. A similar initiative by care provider Brunelcare has seen the launch of “Friends on the Phone,” in which those in the charity’s care are partnered with a trusted volunteer for a weekly phone call. There have been 35 successful “matches” so far.

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  • E-Newsletter - 19 June 2020

    E-Newsletter - 19 June 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include a new internet radio station for people with dementia, the NAPA benefit concert and an overview of the latest on Covid-19. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • New approach to biographical filmmaking

    New approach to biographical filmmaking

    19.06.20 Dementia charity My Life Films, which makes life story films for people with dementia, has adopted a new approach to capturing people’s memories that does not involve leaving home. Instead of filming in physical space, it is happening in virtual space with the help of Zoom. Photographs, interviews and music help to make up the films, and media platforms like WhatsApp and We Transfer have also helped to make them possible under lockdown. Contact Charlotte for more details charlotte@mylifefilms.org

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