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  • Musical Map for Dementia will help 'transform lives'

    Musical Map for Dementia will help 'transform lives'

    02.10.19 A Musical Map for Dementia will highlight dementia-friendly musical activities and services, as part of a campaign to extend “the power of music in helping transform people’s lives.” The Music for Dementia 2020 campaign, funded by the Utley Foundation, launched the map on BBC Music Day practitioners working with music to submit their details for the map. Grace Meadows, programme director at Music for Dementia 2020 and a senior music therapist, said music was a “necessity” for people with dementia. Find out more at

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  • Purple Alert app marks World Alzheimer's Day with 10,000 downloads

    Purple Alert app marks World Alzheimer's Day with 10,000 downloads

    01.10.19 A free smartphone app called Purple Alert marked World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September by reaching 10,000 downloads just two years after it was launched. It is intended to help find a person with dementia if they go missing and was designed by Alzheimer Scotland along with people with dementia, family carers, Police Scotland and the health and social care sector. The app works by sharing key information about the missing person and has so far assisted with 13 searches, in all of which the person has been found safe and well within four hours.

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  • What will Labour's social care plans mean for private sector providers?

    What will Labour's social care plans mean for private sector providers?

    30.09.19 Among Labour’s plans announced at its annual conference last week is to “support local authorities to directly provide rather than outsource care,” raising questions about the role of private providers including care homes. According to the Guardian’s social care commentator David Brindle, the party’s new policy document “Towards the National Care Service” talks of “rebuilding local authority capacity to deliver care” and enabling councils “to take over existing homes where they are failing or where it would benefit efficient and effective operation of the services.” Some voices in Labour have called for “nationalisation” of social care, although this is not official policy.

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  • E-Newsletter - 27 Sept 2019

    E-Newsletter - 27 Sept 2019

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include a Musical Map for Dementia, hospital wards and what Labour's social care plans mean for private sector providers. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Leeds Beckett partners Avery on management training

    Leeds Beckett partners Avery on management training

    21.09.19 Care homes company Avery Healthcare is working with Leeds Beckett University on a bespoke leadership and management training programme for its home and regional managers. It is part of the company’s ReConnect Dementia Care Strategy to ensure all staff have the knowledge and skills to provide dementia care to a high standard. Jo Crossland, Avery’s head of dementia care, said that the new programme would use a “blended learning approach,” comprising face-to-face study days led by university academics, in-house workshops and individual support for managers. “Although much of our dementia training pathway is delivered by experienced practitioners within our organisation, we recognised that, to ensure that our home managers are equipped with the most contemporary knowledge in advanced dementia leadership, we needed to draw on further expertise,” she said.

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  • Voucher scheme to promote arts in care homes

    Voucher scheme to promote arts in care homes

    20.09.19 Ahead of the National Day of Arts in Care Homes on 24 September, NAPA (National Activity Providers Association) has launched its Arts in Care Voucher Scheme to promote arts provision in care homes. The Arts in Care Vouchers can be purchased as presents by relatives and friends of people in care, so that care homes can use the funds raised to provide arts activities for residents. “Relatives wanting to buy a present for a family member or friend or to say thanks to the home for the care provided will be able to purchase an Arts in Care Voucher,” said NAPA executive director Hilary Woodhead. The voucher scheme is part of the Arts in Care Homes project, led by NAPA and funded jointly by Baring Foundation and Raine Foundation.

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  • Dementia friendly ambulances launched

    Dementia friendly ambulances launched

    19.09.19 An NHS trust in the East Midlands has become what is believed to be the first in the UK to launch dementia friendly ambulances. East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has been working with the University of Northampton’s post-diagnostic support centre UnityDEM on adapting ambulances so that people with dementia feel less frightened and confused when travelling in them. Four dementia friendly ambulances are already in service, and it is hoped that all 104 ambulances across the two counties will have been adapted by the end of October. Adaptations include a “reminiscence window,” music from past decades, hand-knitted “Twiddlemuffs,” individualised information about people’s needs and preferences in the form of a “This is Me” document, and a guide for staff on how to use the adaptations and communicate effectively about them, including with people who may be unable to communicate verbally.

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  • 'Low pay & poor training' behind high social care vacancy rates

    'Low pay & poor training' behind high social care vacancy rates

    18.9.19 Vacancy rates for care workers are running at a “staggering” 9.1%, more than three times the average for all jobs, a study by the GMB union has indicated. It says that there are 75,000 vacant roles in England as a whole, London and the south-east being the worst affected regions with 14,000 vacancies each. Responding to the study, Alzheimer’s Society said that the solution lay in better pay and training. “We have to urgently improve pay and conditions, including dementia training, so people are motivated to stay in the sector,” said policy and campaigns director Sally Copley. The GMB research also indicated almost 10,000 vacancies in the east of England and more than 8,000 in the north west and south west.

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  • Operation Yellowhammer sounds warning about no-deal Brexit impact

    Operation Yellowhammer sounds warning about no-deal Brexit impact

    17.09.19 An official assessment of the impact of a no-deal Brexit has warned that care homes may close and providers go out of business. The “Operation Yellowhammer” assessment, which the government was forced to release following a vote in the House of Commons, says that the adult social care market is already fragile owing to the declining financial viability of providers and goes on to outline the risks if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. It says: “An increase in inflation following EU exit would significantly impact adult social care providers due to increasing staff and support costs, and may lead to provider failure, with smaller providers impacted within 2 - 3 months and larger providers 4 - 6 months after exit.”

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  • 'I feel I've gained more than I've lost'

    'I feel I've gained more than I've lost'

    16.09.19 In a new blog on the Guardian website, Wendy Mitchell says she feels she has gained more than she has lost as a result of her dementia diagnosis. “The very nature of my diagnosis signalled the loss of the old me - my memories, my tastes, my abilities, my plans I took for granted - but, more importantly, it signalled the birth of the new me, a new chance,” she writes. Wendy, who was diagnosed with young onset dementia in 2014, says she was determined “to choose a positive path,” but it has not been easy.

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