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  • Did heading the ball contribute to deaths?

    Did heading the ball contribute to deaths?

    11.05.19 The deaths in quick succession of two former Celtic footballers – stars of the “Lisbon Lions” team that won the European Cup in 1967 – have reignited concerns about possible links between heading the ball and dementia. Stevie Chalmers and Billy McNeill both died with dementia in the past few weeks, prompting their fellow player Jim Craig to call for more research. Craig told the BBC: “It’s another case of dementia among football players and really there should be some sort of detailed study into whether a player heading the ball and contact has got something to do with it. When you go up for a high ball not only do you head the ball, you make contact with the opponent’s head a lot of the time. You do wonder over a period of time that it causes some sort of damage that eventually leads to what we have seen this week.”

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  • Digital health hubs extended across country

    Digital health hubs extended across country

    10.05.19 An NHS digital health hubs initiative is expanding across the country to reach more people with dementia following the success of a pilot programme. The initiative, which opens up digital resources to people with dementia, diabetes and autism, among others, has so far engaged 1,340 people in Nailsea, Somerset, with assistance on things like contacting friends on Skype, ordering repeat prescriptions and choosing preferred hospital providers. It is now being scaled up across England to places like London, the Wirral, Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Stafford. In the Nailsea pilot the NHS partnered the town council and Healthwatch to provide the service, which was supported by volunteers, and it is envisaged that the same model will apply elsewhere. Ian Morrell, Nailsea council development manager, said: “The digital revolution has created disadvantages which did not previously exist, and many people feel excluded and left behind.”

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  • Adult social care staff invited to give views

    Adult social care staff invited to give views

    09.05.18 Care minister Caroline Dinenage is calling on the workforce to tell the government about its views on the perks and benefits offered by their care sector employers. As part of a drive to improve the recruitment and retention of social care staff, workers are asked let the government know whether their employers offer benefits or reward schemes and whether these influenced their choice of job or made them feel valued. “Many adult social care providers provide outstanding packages of employee benefits, but it is time to ensure better access across the country,” Dinenage said. “This is [the workforce’s] chance to have their say and help shape national policies that could benefit staff working across the sector.” Link HERE

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  • Positive reviews for 'Our dementia choir'

    Positive reviews for 'Our dementia choir'

    08.05.19 Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure fronted the first of a two-part BBC1 series “Our Dementia Choir” last week, which received rave reviews. McClure, whose grandmother died with dementia in 2015, said the aim was to raise awareness and contribute to the science behind dementia with a view to finding a cure. “How great would it be if we got millions of viewers for this wonderful choir and some extremely vital science we look at towards understanding dementia better!” she commented on Twitter. The 20-strong choir is drawn from McClure’s home city of Nottingham, each member having one of a range of different types of dementia, and it will give a public performance three months from now. Musicians and neurologists are also involved in the scientific project.

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  • Minister behind Green Paper issues proposals on fixing the care crisis

    Minister behind Green Paper issues proposals on fixing the care crisis

    07.05.19 Radical proposals for reforming social care funding are contained in a newly published think tank report from former senior minister Damian Green, who commissioned the long-awaited social care green paper when he was still Theresa May’s first secretary of state. Green proposes a “universal care entitlement” for everyone, operating on similar lines to the state pension, which individuals could then top up from their own capital via a “care supplement”. Among measures to solve the immediate funding crisis, designed to be “fair across generations” and “avoid burdening working age people with simultaneously having to pay for their own future care and the care of previous generations,” would be taxing the winter fuel allowance and potentially imposing a 1% national insurance surcharge on people over 50. In his Centre for Policy Studies report, “Fixing the Care Crisis”, Green argues that the current system is financially and politically unsustainable, opaque and unfair.

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  • ‘Dear Alzheimer’s’: a diary of living with dementia

    ‘Dear Alzheimer’s’: a diary of living with dementia

    Then a primary school head teacher in Kent, Keith Oliver was just 54 when he was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s. In his new book, a diary of living with dementia, he talks about the experience and all that has happened since

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  • A different understanding: a conversation about art

    A different understanding: a conversation about art

    Art enables us to see dementia as much more than a biomedical condition. Hannah Zeilig and Julian Hughes engage in conversation about how artistic collaboration can help people with dementia connect with the world around them

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  • LGBT awareness training: learning from Australia

    LGBT awareness training: learning from Australia

    Allison O’Kelly travelled the length and breadth of Australia to research awareness and care for LGBT people who develop dementia. She found widespread good practice, initiatives and training materials, and much for the UK to emulate

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  • Mobile phone game detects people at risk of Alzheimer's disease

    Mobile phone game detects people at risk of Alzheimer's disease

    03.05.19 A mobile phone game called Sea Hero Quest can detect people at risk of Alzheimer’s because those who are genetically predisposed to the disease play the game differently from those who are not, scientists claim. Data collected from the game app, specially created to help researchers better understand dementia, show how the brain works in relation to spatial navigation. “Our current findings show that we can reliably detect such subtle navigation changes in at-genetic-risk of Alzheimer’s disease healthy people without any problem symptoms or complaints,” said Professor Michael Hornberger from the University of East Anglia (UEA) medical school. The research team, whose paper was published in the journal PNAS, studied gaming data from 27,108 UK players aged between 50 and 75, comparing these with benchmark data from a group of 60 people who underwent genetic testing.

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  • Charity calls for older people's oral health to be urgently addressed

    Charity calls for older people's oral health to be urgently addressed

    02.05.19 The Oral Health Foundation has urged the government to take action on oral care following research demonstrating that poor oral health is independently associated with problems in later life. A research investigation published in the Journal of Gerodontology found that older people exhibiting muscular weakness, sudden weight loss or impaired mobility were substantially more prone to problems with their oral health. Oral Health Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said a rise in poor health, frailty and disability in older people would create a series of oral health challenges. The foundation said that a pledge in the NHS long-term plan to “ensure that individuals [in care homes] are supported to have good oral health” lacked detail and did not offer solutions. The availability of dentists and lack of awareness of oral health among carers needed to be urgently addressed, it added.

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