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  • Possible new treatment could be licensed next Spring

    Possible new treatment could be licensed next Spring

    15.08.20 A potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease could be licensed for use in the US by Spring 2021, it has been reported. According to pharmaceutical company Biogen, which is seeking regulatory approval for its aducanumab drug, the Food and Drug Administration has granted it “priority review” meaning that it will decide whether to approve the new drug by March 7. Aducanumab has been credited with slowing cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease. According to Biogen, trials of the drug showed that patients given high doses in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease experienced significant benefits on measures of cognition and function, such as memory, orientation and language.

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  • E-Newsletter - 14 August 2020

    E-Newsletter - 14 August 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include a new care home 'admission suite', non-medical prescribers and an update on falling diagnosis rates. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • E-Newsletter - 7 Aug 2020

    E-Newsletter - 7 Aug 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include reports on day centres and care homes re-opening to visitors after lockdown, and low diagnosis rates during the pandemic. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • University wins major award for 'Class in a Bag' teaching initiative

    University wins major award for 'Class in a Bag' teaching initiative

    14.08.20 An initiative for teaching school children about dementia - called “Class in a Bag” - has won a major national award for teaching excellence. Class in a Bag is taught by student nurses in schools so that children learn how to support people living with the condition. Led by Professor Debbie Tolson and Winnie McGarry from the University of the West of Scotland, the impact of this portable, intergenerational education resource has been recognised by the Advanced HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence given to the university. Professor Tolson said that, since 2012, more than 10,000 school children had learned about dementia from over 2,400 student nurses using Class in a Bag.

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  • Stricter PPE guidance 'saved lives' says home care agency

    Stricter PPE guidance 'saved lives' says home care agency

    13.08.20 A care agency has described how setting higher standards than those prescribed in government coronavirus guidance enabled it to save the lives of vulnerable clients. “We went with stricter PPE guidance on masks, gloves, visors, gowns, and I’m sure that kept infection rates down among clients across the county,” said Jason Walker, manager of the Hereford-based Kemble at Home care agency. “Despite going house to house we didn’t have one single client infected, which we are very proud of,” he told the Worcester News website. When there were shortages the government said some PPE could be used for an entire shift, but the council and local agencies insisted masks be changed after each home visit. “We went from zero costs on masks before covid to £2,000 a week,” Walker said. "The price of a box of 1,000 gloves rose from £15 to £50 or £60.”

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  • Day centre services recommence 'slowly and on a small scale'

    Day centre services recommence 'slowly and on a small scale'

    12.08.20 Alzheimer Scotland has announced plans to begin reopening day services and activity programmes after the Scottish Government confirmed that registered adult day centres would be allowed to recommence their work. Attendee numbers are expected to be reduced and the charity said it would confer with local commissioners to agree safe levels of attendance. “I am very pleased to be at a stage where we are able to consider re-opening our face-to-face support,” said Alzheimer Scotland chief executive Henry Simmons. “However, we must understand that the virus is still out there and at the forefront of our plans is safety. We must do all that we can to keep you, our staff, volunteers and the public safe. Things will start slowly and on a small scale…”

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  • Diagnosis rates and memory clinic referrals fall during pandemic

    Diagnosis rates and memory clinic referrals fall during pandemic

    11.08.20 Another facet of Covid-19’s wide-ranging impact on people with dementia has been revealed in lower diagnosis rates and plunging referrals to memory clinics. Figures from NHS Digital show diagnosis rates falling from 67.6% in February to 63.5% in June, while memory service referrals dropped from an average of 2,600 a month to just 84 in April, 435 in May and 994 in June, according to an Alzheimer’s Society analysis of the data. “Another hidden crisis is growing,” said the Society’s director of research and influencing Fiona Carragher. “The recent drop in both dementia diagnosis rates and referrals to memory clinics means a huge group of people will be living without an official diagnosis, unable to get financial, legal and emotional advice, as well as any support or treatment available."

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  • Care homes group urges caution as homes reopen to visitors

    Care homes group urges caution as homes reopen to visitors

    10.08.20 As coronavirus mortality rates came down in care homes during July, the Independent Care Group (ICG) urged caution in opening up to visitors. Fears over a second wave of the virus meant that better testing arrangements needed to be in place first, said ICG chair Mike Padgham, who owns care homes in the north of England. “We are being warned that a second wave of Covid-19 is just weeks away and we haven’t got the testing regime in place that we were promised,” Padgham said. Referring to statistics showing a decline in care home Covid-19 deaths to 69 people in the week ending 24 July, from 95 two weeks earlier, he added: “The figures show a significant and welcome fall in care and nursing home deaths, which is wonderful news. However, we have to remain vigilant, even though there is growing demand for homes to re-open their doors. We need to slow down."

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  • New dementia ID cards

    New dementia ID cards

    07.08.20 Another initiative from the Young Dementia Network is young onset dementia ID cards, one for use by the person themselves and the other by family members, supporters and carers. Personal information can be recorded on the cards that might be useful if assistance is needed. Additionally, the network has created a document providing guidance for dementia support workers, dementia advisers and key workers who usually support older people with dementia. The guidance, developed by younger people with dementia themselves, outlines the issues younger people with the condition face in particular. Go to www.youngdementiauk.org

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  • Pioneering music therapy project Music in Mind goes online

    Pioneering music therapy project Music in Mind goes online

    06.08.20 Manchester Camerata, which runs the pioneering music therapy project Music in Mind, has received a £50,000 grant so that it can be delivered online. Due to start in September, Music in Mind: Remote is intended to give “emergency relief” from isolation for people with dementia in care homes. In the project, Manchester Camerata’s orchestra team up with music therapists for group-based musical improvisation, aimed at encouraging people with dementia to express themselves and communicate with others. The grant, from the government’s Innovate UK programme, will pay for instructional videos, guides to delivering musical activities and online support from consultant music therapists. More information here

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