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  • Football associations ban younger children from heading ball in training

    Football associations ban younger children from heading ball in training

    02.03.20 The associations governing football in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have said that children aged 11 and under will no longer head the ball in training. The move, which does not yet apply in Wales and does not affect any match fixtures, follows research from Glasgow University indicating that former professional footballers were five times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than the general population. In a joint announcement from the English, Scottish and Irish football associations, coaches were told there should be “no heading in training in the foundation phase,” which effectively covers children of primary school age.

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  • Samaritans withdraw job offer to Hughes after 'toxic culture' claims

    Samaritans withdraw job offer to Hughes after 'toxic culture' claims

    28.02.20 A Guardian newspaper investigation into claims of a “toxic culture” at Alzheimer’s Society appears to have derailed a move by the charity’s chief executive to a new role at the Samaritans. Jeremy Hughes had been due to take over as Samaritans chief executive in May, but the Guardian reported this week that trustees had withdrawn the job offer following the investigation and a campaign by the Unite union. Unite, which represents about 50 staff at the Samaritans, claimed that Hughes was unsuitable for the job because the charity was already “in the very early stages of recovering from a toxic bullying culture.” The union added: “Unite is especially concerned about Mr Hughes’ management style as the union has had to represent large numbers of members who were subjected to bullying at the Samaritans by former members of its management team.”

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  • E-Newsletter - 21 Feb 2020

    E-Newsletter - 21 Feb 2020

    Here is the week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include use of antipsychotics in hospitals, day centre closures and the NAPA masterclass programme. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • New training package helps care staff create 'playlists for life'

    New training package helps care staff create 'playlists for life'

    28.02.20 Dementia music charity Playlist for Life has launched a training package for health and care professionals so that they can learn about the benefits of personalised music for people with dementia. Music has been credited with reducing the use of psychotropic medication in care homes and Playlist for Life’s new “Integrating into Care” package is designed to train staff in a care home or hospital ward how to use playlists. A further “Embedding into your Setting” package takes the training to the next level by skilling up in-house trainers who can roll out playlists at scale within their employing organisations. “We’re really passionate about integrating playlists into dementia care by adopting a ‘whole-home approach,’” said Sarah Metcalfe, chief executive of Playlist for Life. “This means that everyone in an organisation caring for people with dementia has a role to play in implementing playlists: from senior management and carers to the receptionist and kitchen staff."

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  • NAPA Masterclass Programme 2020 highlights music and gardening

    NAPA Masterclass Programme 2020 highlights music and gardening

    27.02.20 A new masterclass programme for 2020 has been announced by NAPA (National Activity Providers Association), starting with music and gardening. “Intergenerational Music Making” will be the topic for the NAPA Masterclass on 6 May, while “Step Change Design: ‘Why don’t we go into the garden?’” will be the topic for 27 May. Both will take place at central London venues. The music masterclass will “emphasise the potential for music to be used as a preventative tool and in managing behaviours that challenge,” NAPA says, whereas the gardening masterclass will explore ways to create more active and meaningful outside spaces for care home residents. Contact training@napa-activities.co.uk to book.

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  • Upcoming Budget should announce social care reform, says charity

    Upcoming Budget should announce social care reform, says charity

    26.02.20 Alzheimer’s Society has called on the government to put reform of social care on the agenda in the forthcoming Budget, expected to take place on 11 March. Apart from an immediate investment of £8 billion in social care - which the charity says is at “breaking point” - the Society’s Budget submission says it wants to see an end to the “financial inequality” of having dementia. Dementia care typically costs around £100,000, it claims, and it is not paid by the NHS in contrast to other health conditions. “People affected by dementia face catastrophic costs due to the lack of social care funding,” Alzheimer’s Society said. “Emergency admissions for people with dementia have risen by over a third in five years, an increase that costs the NHS an estimated £280 million a year. Improved social care for people with dementia would benefit the NHS, meaning fewer people with dementia are forced to go to A&E in crisis."

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  • Nearly 40% of hopsitals fail to offer alternatives to antipsychotics

    Nearly 40% of hopsitals fail to offer alternatives to antipsychotics

    25.02.20 Almost 40% of hospitals fail to offer patients with dementia non-drug therapies to alleviate distress, despite official guidelines that they should make a range of non-pharmacological approaches available. Figures obtained by the Pharmaceutical Journal indicate that under a fifth (17%) of the 87 acute trusts which provided data offered all the non-drug therapies suggested by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Just under 45% of acute trusts said they offered one or more of the therapies in NICE guidance, but 39% said they did not offer any. Dementia UK head of research Karen Harrison Dening described the findings as “a concern”. She added: “Depending on where you are in the country, you could have a very different experience of dementia care."

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  • European dementia prevalence falls, but numbers double to 2050

    European dementia prevalence falls, but numbers double to 2050

    24.02.20 Healthier lifestyles have led to a reduction in the prevalence of dementia in Europe over the past 10 years, but the number of people living with dementia is still expected to almost double by 2050. So says Alzheimer Europe in its new yearbook, which estimates that there are 9.78 million people with dementia in Europe as a whole. The figure is more than a million lower than previous estimates, which indicated that there were 10.93 million people, but even so Alzheimer Europe’s analysis indicates that the numbers of people with dementia across Europe will still soar to 18.84 million by 2050.

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  • Day centre closures forces people with dementia to A&E, claims paper

    Day centre closures forces people with dementia to A&E, claims paper

    21.02.20 Day centre closures mean that people with dementia are being “dumped” in hospital A&E departments, an investigation by the Telegraph newspaper has claimed. It found that 32 day centre services had closed in three years, including 20 in the past year, which had coincided with a sharp rise in A&E admissions of an extra 100,000 annually. According to the Telegraph, charities said withdrawal of such services, usually funded by councils, had been devastating for families and was pushing them to breaking point.

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  • 'Empowered Carers' social enterprise holds communication event

    'Empowered Carers' social enterprise holds communication event

    21.02.20 A Salford-based dementia communications support provider will be exploring the transformative role relationships and communication play in the lives of people with dementia at a conference next month. Empowered Carers, whose internet-based counselling programme for family carers is featured in the next issue of the Journal of Dementia Care (March/April), will be running a free conference in Manchester entitled Relationships and Communication in Dementia on March 19. Emma Smith, project manager for Empowered Conversations, which is part of the Six Degrees social enterprise, said: “In the spirit of the Empowered Conversations approach to communication, the event will be a space to build relationships, connect with others and develop a shared understanding of how we can improve outcomes for people with dementia. We are proud to be bringing this level of expertise together – from those living with the disease, carers and professionals.”

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