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  • E-Newsletter 25 Jan 2019

    E-Newsletter 25 Jan 2019

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include DoLS replacement proposals and nutrition in care homes. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • New funding to focus on arts and creativity

    New funding to focus on arts and creativity

    25.01.19 An arts-based dementia day care service is to be launched in Manchester thanks to the award of a £97,500 grant in memory of the MP Jo Cox. The money from the Building Connections Fund will be ploughed into what the charities Community Integrated Care (CIC) and Age Exchange describe as a “pioneering new service,” which will use arts, reminiscence and creative activities to engage people with dementia in day care. Opening in March at CIC’s EachStep Blackley care home, it will be known as the EachStep Club and will support 15 people in the early stages of dementia – and their carers – for one day a week. Rebecca Packwood, CEO of Age Exchange, said: “This innovative service will change lives by bringing people together, enabling them to follow their passions and create lasting friendships and support networks. We believe that this unique and much needed service will be a fitting tribute to the memory of Jo Cox.”

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  • ONS statistics on 'sandwich carers'

    ONS statistics on 'sandwich carers'

    24.01.19 More than a quarter of “sandwich carers” – those caring both for older relatives and children – are suffering from mental ill-health including anxiety and depression, reports the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It said that around 3% of the UK population – approximately 1.3 million people – were now sandwich carers and that almost 27% of them had mental health problems. “The more hours spent caring for an adult, the more likely sandwich carers are to experience feelings of anxiety or depression,” the ONS said. More than a third of sandwich carers providing 20 hours or more of adult care a week report symptoms of mental ill-health, compared with less than a quarter of those providing under five hours. Helen Walker, chief executive, Carers UK, said the figures were “no surprise” and “Beyond dual caring responsibilities, there is increasing pressure on this group to juggle work with caring and, as a result, it is one of the most time-poor and stressed generations.”

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  • Care homes win top accolades

    Care homes win top accolades

    23.01.19 Accolades have been announced for three dementia care homes, two “outstanding” ratings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and one in form of recognition from Dementia Care Matter’s (DCM) Butterfly accreditation scheme. Brunelcare’s Deerhurst care home in Bristol was rated as a “level 1” Butterfly home for the sixth year running, in recognition of the quality of life enjoyed by residents with dementia. DCM’s founder David Sheard said: “The DCM level 1 rating is very rare as there are only 17 level 1 homes across the five countries we are now working in.” Springfield Court Nursing Home (Lancashire) was declared outstanding by the CQC. At Northbourne care home in Gateshead – emphasis was on helping residents avoid social isolation. “They had signposted various local places of interest for people to explore and showed what was on offer, as well as invited local community groups into the home,” said CQC regional head of inspection Ros Sanderson.

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  • Care home managers get “too much power” under DoLS proposals

    Care home managers get “too much power” under DoLS proposals

    22.01.19 Plans to replace the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) with a more effective system have been criticised by charities, lawyers and the Labour party, according to a report in the Guardian. Under the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, now being considered by the House of Commons, a decision to deprive someone in care of their liberty would have to be justified under a new streamlined system of “liberty protection safeguards”. But the Law Society, Labour and charities including Alzheimer’s Society have told the Guardian that it will hand too much power to care home managers and private hospitals.

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  • Active lives build brain resilience in people with dementia, says research

    Active lives build brain resilience in people with dementia, says research

    21.01.19 More evidence that active lifestyles have a protective effect on the brain has come from a US study, which looked at the impact of physical activity on a range of older people including many with dementia. It found that older adults who moved more than average, either by taking regular physical exercise or by engaging in routine activities such as housework, retained more of their memory and thinking skills than those who moved less than average. Scientists at Rush University in Chicago said that even older people who already showed signs of dementia had better retention of cognitive abilities if they were more active. "We measured levels of physical activity in study participants an average of two years prior to their deaths, and then examined their donated brain tissue after death, and found that a more active lifestyle may have a protective effect on the brain," said Dr Aron Buchman, lead author of the study paper in the journal Neurology.

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  • E-Newsletter 18 Jan 2019

    E-Newsletter 18 Jan 2019

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include care home managers' powers under the DoLS proposals and a new research programme on palliative care for people with dementia. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • Senior personnel changes for two prominent care organisations

    Senior personnel changes for two prominent care organisations

    17.01.19 In two notable people moves last week, national social care charity Community Integrated Care (CIC) has appointed Libby Raper to replace Dame Joan Stringer as chair of its board of trustees, while Sharon Blackburn has announced her departure from National Care Forum (NCF). Raper takes over at CIC having been chair of Leeds College of Music and vice-chair of York NHS Teaching Hospital, with 20 years of experience in the commercial sector as a head of marketing. CIC employs 6,500 staff and supports more than 3,500 people, including people with dementia. Sharon Blackburn, NCF’s policy and communications director, will be stepping down in the Spring and plans a move to Australia where she will work for BallyCara, which provides care for older people.

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  • Help sought with new toolkit to improve dementia care

    Help sought with new toolkit to improve dementia care

    18.01.19 A web-based toolkit filled with stories and tips on how health and care organisations can improve dementia care is to be produced by Alzheimer’s Society. Commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, the toolkit will be a resource designed to encourage organisations to follow the Dementia Action Alliance’s rights-based Dementia Statements. Alzheimer’s Society is looking for examples of good practice to go into the toolkit, as well as service commissioners and providers who might be willing to help test the toolkit content in the coming weeks. Anyone with an interest is asked to complete a short online survey HERE

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  • Music for Dementia website provides information hub

    Music for Dementia website provides information hub

    16.01.19 The Music for Dementia 2020 website was launched this week to provide an information hub for advice, evidence-based research and expertise on why music is essential for people with dementia and their carers. It claims to be the first website of its kind bringing the music and dementia care sectors together. Set up in response to an ILC-UK report on dementia and music, the website aims to enhance people’s quality of life by making access to information about music services easier. “The website is a living, dynamic source of information,” said Grace Meadows, the site’s programme director. “Working with all the music, dementia, care and health communities, this site will be all-encompassing and inclusive, and we want to encourage people to share their work with us so we can be making people aware what musical activities are available in their communities and supporting access to them.” Click HERE

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