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  • Training programme develops online

    Training programme develops online

    15.10.20 A study to adapt a successful training programme on person-centred care for a Covid-19 world has won £1.2 million in government funding. Led by Exeter University and King’s College London, the study will develop online training drawing on the most successful elements of the WHELD programme, which has had demonstrable success in supporting care home staff to provide more person-centred care for people with dementia. “We urgently need to support care staff, who are going through an extraordinarily difficult time in trying to care for people with dementia and other residents in hugely challenging circumstances,” said Professor Clive Ballard from Exeter University Medical School. “Care home residents are among the frailest in society and are at particularly high risk of dying from Covid-19. I’m delighted that this funding will help us to adapt the programme to a Covid-19 world, and roll it out swiftly, to provide the best possible support to residents and staff.”

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  • Online event shares ideas for music in care homes

    Online event shares ideas for music in care homes

    14.10.20 Sharing simple ideas and best practice for keeping music going in residential care is the purpose of a new initiative from the charity Music for Dementia. Its Musical Care Taskforce is inviting care home staff to be part of an online gathering on Tuesday 20 October (2pm - 3.30pm), which is also an opportunity to find out about the needs of the sector and the way music can respond to those. According to Music for Dementia, music is more important than ever in facing and recovering from isolation and the challenges of the pandemic. Register click here

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  • Invitation to take part in KCL research on residential respite

    Invitation to take part in KCL research on residential respite

    13.10.12 Researchers involved in the “Taking a Break” study at King’s College London are looking for people with dementia and carers to share their views on short stays in care homes, often known as “residential respite”. They want to hear about people’s experiences, including what they think of short stays during the Covid-19 pandemic, and hope to cast light on what people get out of their short stay and why some others do not arrange one in the first place. The researchers are also keen to promote the study among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and would like to hear of organisations and individuals to approach. Contact laura.cole@kcl.ac.uk.

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  • Family dementia care takes toll on working lives

    Family dementia care takes toll on working lives

    12.10.20 Nearly a third (31%) of family carers of people with dementia have to cut their working hours to take care of loved ones, while 34% of them provide care alone without any support. The survey commissioned by Bupa Care Homes and carried out by One Poll involved 375 adults with dementia who were being cared for by relatives. According to the International Business Times, a fifth of the carers had “sacrificed” their professional lives. Most of the carers (83%) welcomed any additional support, while 77% firmly believed that the person cared for would still be able to lead a fulfilling life with the right kind of support.

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  • Study of care homes sets out lessons learned from Covid-19

    Study of care homes sets out lessons learned from Covid-19

    10.10.20 Key lessons learned during the pandemic by care home and NHS staff are presented in a new report from the National Care Forum and Leeds University. The research into the experiences of staff in the first few months of the crisis heard reports of an unpredictable illness trajectory, atypical symptoms among older people, and the absence of a “magic bullet” for managing symptoms and providing supportive care. Entitled “LESS COVID: Learning by Experience and Supporting the Care Home Sector during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report is described as “essential reading” for all those involved in providing care for older people. Report here

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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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