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  • Communication resources from Cardiff University

    Communication resources from Cardiff University

    17.11.20 Professor Alison Wray at Cardiff University has developed some good film resources on communication in dementia care. The latest film is Dementia Communication Across Language Boundaries: Developing Language Awareness. This covers different aspects of communication between carers and people with dementia from different language backgrounds. Link click here

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  • Bringing the generations together benefits everyone

    Bringing the generations together benefits everyone

    Loneliness and social isolation are common problems among older people with dementia, but a primary school-based project has found a solution. Alex Kerr-Dineen and David Hinchcliffe report on an initiative bringing together the “bookend generations”

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  • Arts and dementia: shaping the future

    Arts and dementia: shaping the future

    It is widely believed that the arts can improve quality of life in care, but more hard evidence is needed. Ruby Swift and Karen Gray discuss research to build up the evidence base and an event to assist with putting it into practice

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  • High time to respect carers as equals

    High time to respect carers as equals

    Government and policymakers must act now on the needs of family carers if they are to meet the many challenges they face. Anna Gaughan says it is time to treat unpaid carers as key workers

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  • Smartphone app developed for dementia carers

    Smartphone app developed for dementia carers

    13.11.20 Soothing images have been developed by Edinburgh University for a smartphone app with a view to improving the wellbeing of carers of people with dementia. The gallery of images, including landscapes, water features, animals, greenery and the sky, were selected for the CogniCare app, which provides advice, support and resources for dementia care. Clinical psychologists, as part of the university’s Project Soothe, selected the images based on research showing that they enhanced people’s mood and emotional wellbeing, according to Medical Express. "It is known that the ability a person has to soothe themselves in difficult times helps them stay well, but some people are less able to imagine a soothing scene—which is where a bank of images could help," project lead Dr Stella Chan told Medical Express.

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  • Small charities in Wales given £3.6m in National Lottery Funding

    Small charities in Wales given £3.6m in National Lottery Funding

    12.11.20 People with dementia in Wales will be among the beneficiaries of £3.6 million in National Lottery funding for a series of small-scale projects. Among the organisations receiving grants are Cariad Pet Therapy in Pembrokeshire for “automated pet therapy visits” to people who are socially isolated as a result of Covid-19 and Briton Ferry Llansawel AFC in Neath Port Talbot for raising awareness of the issues experienced by people with dementia. Stuart Williams, project coordinator at the football club, told the West Wales Chronicle: “We are delighted to have secured the National Lottery funding of £10,000. It will allow over 40 volunteers at the club to access dementia awareness training, as well as new signage to help people living with dementia when they visit the facility.”

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  • Anticholinergic drugs 'significantly increase' mortality risk

    Anticholinergic drugs 'significantly increase' mortality risk

    11.11.20 A university study finds that anticholinergic drugs significantly increase the risk of death in people with dementia. Commonly used to treat urinary incontinence, allergies and depression, anticholinergics like Diazepam and risperidone were regularly prescribed for some people with dementia and researchers calculated an overall “anticholinergic burden” for each person as a measure of their cumulative effect. Looking at data for 25,418 people with dementia who were prescribed at least one dementia management medication between 2010 and 2016, they found that only 15% had no anticholinergic burden. Anticholinergic drugs for respiratory and urological conditions in particular increased mortality rates among people with dementia, researchers said.

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  • Major disruption to hospital care

    Major disruption to hospital care

    10.11.20 An audit of hospital dementia services released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists indicates widespread disruption during the pandemic, with 49% of dementia leads surveyed reporting that dementia strategies and projects had been suspended. In terms of visiting and family contact, 90% of family carers questioned in the audit said they were not allowed to visit the person they cared for, while 43% responded that they were given no explanation about visiting procedures. Although 91 hospital leads said new methods had been introduced to communicate with carers using technology or liaison teams, six comments from carers said staff could not help with phone calls with the person with dementia or that the system did not work well for them. Report here here

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  • Last chance to get tickets for UK Dementia Congress this week

    Last chance to get tickets for UK Dementia Congress this week

    Among the highlights of our packed programme are a live webinar on Tuesday (2pm) chaired by Professor Dawn Brooker entitled “Tales of the unexpected: What has mattered for people living with dementia in the time of Covid?” It includes a wide variety of speakers from the dementia care community and viewers will be able to ask questions and make comments during the panel discussions. On Wednesday (10am) there will be talks by Alzheimer’s Society CEO Kate Lee, Alzheimer’s Disease International CEO Paola Barbarino, care minister Helen Whately and members of DEEP and tide. It includes a live Q&A with Kate and Paola at 12 noon. At 2.30pm the Tom Kitwood Memorial Address will be given by Jackie Pool and Professor Linda Clare with a live Q&A chaired by Professor Graham Stokes at 3.30pm. And, on Thursday, Professor James Warner will be giving an update on medical and scientific advances in the treatment of dementia, followed by a live Q&A chaired by Nori Graham.

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  • Guidance intended to protect people will kill them instead, Lee says

    Guidance intended to protect people will kill them instead, Lee says

    08.11.20 Having sent an open letter to health secretary Matt Hancock at the start of the week calling for more care home visits, campaigners reacted angrily when new guidance emerged on Wednesday. Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Kate Lee said she was “devastated” by the guidance, which she claimed completely missed the point because “this attempt to protect people will kill them.” Lee added: “Thousands of people with dementia have died during lockdown – by far the highest increase in deaths for any condition - and our support line is inundated with distraught families reporting the damaging side effects of isolation on their loved ones. The prison-style screens the government proposes – with people speaking through phones – are frankly ridiculous when you consider someone with advanced dementia can often be bed-bound and struggling to speak. They won’t understand and will be distressed by what’s going on around them.”

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