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  • Are you caring for a family member of friend with dementia?

    Are you caring for a family member of friend with dementia?

    “When you’re a carer, your confidence goes a bit. You get out of the habit of doing things for yourself.”

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  • NICE guidance on spotting signs of abuse and neglect

    NICE guidance on spotting signs of abuse and neglect

    09.10.20 The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced draft guidelines to help care home staff and visitors be more aware of the signs of neglect and abuse. Professor Gillian Leng, NICE chief executive, said: “Every day, thousands of adults in care homes rely on the support and care of those around them; a fact that should never be taken for granted. This is an opportunity to equip residents, relatives and care professionals with the tools they need to identify neglect and abuse, and empower them with the knowledge of where they can go for help. It is our hope that by providing clear guidelines on the steps visitors, staff and organisations can take, we will all be better prepared to protect residents in their time of need.” Draft guidelines (final version due in February) here

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  • Championing social care campaign

    Championing social care campaign

    08.10.20 A campaign to raise funds for charitable causes in social care and lift the profile of the sector has been launched by Hallmark Care Homes CEO Avnish Goyal. The “Championing Social Care” initiative, which also involves CareTech Foundation, Sekoia and Majesticare Luxury Care Homes, hopes to relaunch Care Home Open Day in 2021 and plans to try out a new virtual event in January called “Care Sector’s got Talent”.
    Goyal said “Core to the work of the initiative is continuing to fundraise for sector-relevant charitable causes and to build on the achievements of our Care Sector Fundraising Ball, which has raised some £350,000 in the first two years alone.” Organisations can support Championing Social Care by displaying a “Proud to Support” digital badge, engaging via social media using the #ChampioningSocialCare and #SparkleforSocialCare hashtags, and finding out about the campaign here

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  • Call to reinstate dementia services as wellbeing plummets

    Call to reinstate dementia services as wellbeing plummets

    07.10.20 Dementia support services closed because of Covid-19 should be reinstated to prevent a costly rise in hospital admissions, a Liverpool University study claims. A survey conducted as part of the study, which also involves Bradford University, discovered increased levels of anxiety in people with dementia and older adults, as well as lower levels of mental wellbeing among unpaid carers. It highlights closures to vital support services, such as day care centres and support groups, which it says have taken a “huge toll” on the mental wellbeing of people with dementia and their carers. It adds that support services should be restored to pre-pandemic levels, otherwise health and social care could be “overburdened with increased rates of cost-intensive care home admissions and healthcare visits.” Article here

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  • Carers do 92 million extra caring hours

    Carers do 92 million extra caring hours

    06.10.20 A report from Alzheimer’s Society finds that family and friends have spent an additional 92 million hours caring for people with dementia since lockdown began. It says lockdown resulted in a “double whammy” because dementia symptoms worsened while underfunded social care left families out in the cold. “The tens of thousands of deaths of people with dementia – and the grieving families each one has left behind - must make us pause,” said Alzheimer’s Society CEO Kate Lee. “I know if social care had been on an equal footing with the NHS, we would not have seen deaths on such a scale. The government must never abandon families with dementia again. Lessons must be learned to prevent any further tragedy this winter.” Alzheimer’s Society has called on the government to develop a clear strategy for helping people affected by dementia recover from the effects of the pandemic and to allow at least one informal carer per care home resident to be a designated key worker.

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  • NHS issues guidance on dementia wellbeing during pandemic

    NHS issues guidance on dementia wellbeing during pandemic

    05.10.20 Guidance from the NHS, “Dementia wellbeing in the Covid-19 pandemic”, is primarily for clinicians working with people with dementia, although it can be used by family carers and people with dementia themselves. It sets out adjustments and amendments to the dementia wellbeing pathway which are needed in response to the pandemic, highlighting priorities and actions for each step of the pathway. The guidelines can be found here

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  • 127,000 people sign petition for 'basic human right'

    127,000 people sign petition for 'basic human right'

    05.10.20 A group called “rightsforresidents” said more than 127,000 people had signed its petition in favour of allowing family visits by last Friday. Responding to the tweet on #rightsforresidents, Alzheimer’s Society CEO Kate Lee said: “I can’t stress strongly enough how vital it is for residents to be given the basic human right of visits from people that love them. Our new @alzheimerssoc report clearly evidences that without it people are giving up hope. Please help us and @rightsforresid2 keep up pressure.”

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  • Legal action on care home family visits after talks collapse

    Legal action on care home family visits after talks collapse

    03.10.20 Legal action on family visits to care homes is to be taken after talks with the government collapsed this week. John’s Campaign, which has been campaigning to give family members keyworker status so that they have easier access to relatives in care homes, said the government had refused to listen to its lawyers’ arguments. Campaigners now plan to press ahead with a judicial review of the government’s guidance on visits, which they regard as unduly restrictive and an infringement of human rights. “Our lawyers have decided that there's nothing to be gained by further negotiation -- except wasting more time for families,” said John’s Campaign co-founder Julia Jones. “We remain profoundly shocked by the lack of interest by government in understanding the impact of their actions on care home residents - especially those living with dementia - and their families. We can't imagine any other group in society being treated in this way.”

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  • E-Newsletter 2 Oct 2020

    E-Newsletter 2 Oct 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include an update on legal action on care home family visits and updated NHS guidance on dementia wellbeing during the pandemicl. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Smartphone app responds to falling dementia diagnosis rates

    Smartphone app responds to falling dementia diagnosis rates

    02.10.20 A dementia screening app is due to be rolled out next month in a bid to help counter the fall in diagnosis rates during the pandemic. The smartphone app, called Mindset, is the brainchild of a team of frontline doctors and medical students who developed it in their spare time, says the London Evening Standard. According to the BMJ, as many as 62% of people with dementia are going undiagnosed, in stark contrast to official diagnosis rates of 67% prior to the pandemic. The app will allow patients to answer a series of questions and complete cognitive exercises similar to those administered by doctors in face-to-face consultations.

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