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  • Search Dog Heroes trained with new scent kits

    Search Dog Heroes trained with new scent kits

    28.09.18 Purpose-made “scent kits”, which can capture a human scent, are being produced as part of a new initiative called Search Dog Heroes, which will enable a quick response when someone with dementia goes missing. The charities Missing People and Lowland Rescue are collaborating on the initiative to train 100 search dogs to find people with dementia who leave their homes, become disorientated and are unable to find their way back. It has been made possible by an award of £1 million to the two charities from the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund. The dogs will be trained to trail the missing person’s scent, which they will have picked up from the scent kits. More information on

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  • World Alzheimer's Day launch of global report on research

    World Alzheimer's Day launch of global report on research

    27.09.18 On World Alzheimer’s Day last week, Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) called on governments worldwide to commit to a minimum of 1% of the societal cost of dementia to be dedicated to research. The cost is now calculated to be one trillion US dollars every year. ADI has issued the call through its “World Alzheimer Report 2018: The state of the art in dementia research – new frontiers,” written by journalist and broadcaster Christina Patterson. Patterson interviews top scientists from around the world, such as UK Dementia Research Institute director Bart de Strooper, about the latest thinking on the science of dementia, as well as talking to people living with the condition. The report looks at the hopes and frustrations surrounding dementia research and asks why there have been no major medical treatment breakthroughs in more than 20 years. For the report, go to

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  • Research project on end of life care for BAME communities

    Research project on end of life care for BAME communities

    26.9.18 New research will look at how health professionals can improve end of life care for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. LOROS Hospice in the East Midlands has combined with Leicester Hospitals to conduct the 30-month long study, which has been funded by a £417,000 grant from the National Institute for Health Research. Professor Christina Faull, lead researcher at LOROS, said: “People from black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities tend to access end of life care services less than other patients. We want to find out more about people’s experiences, the choices that they are offered and decisions that they make. We will use our findings to train doctors and nurses in how to support patients in line with their spiritual and cultural approach to thinking ahead about the end of life.” The study is entitled “Thinking Ahead: exploring and understanding experiences and decisions in end of life care for people from minority ethnic communities”.

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  • New Professor of Family Care in Dementia announced

    New Professor of Family Care in Dementia announced

    25.09.18 Dementia Carers Count (DCC) and the University of Worcester have joined forces to appoint Tracey Williamson to the new post of DCC Professor of Family Care in Dementia. Professor Williamson, who is currently reader in public involvement, engagement and experience at Salford University, said she looked forward to being part of work to “create better understanding of the challenges and opportunities a caring role brings and to identify ways of helping carers to feel more supported, empowered and resilient.” The new post follows the official launch of Dementia Carers Count, formerly known as the Royal Surgical Aid Society, with a brief to focus on the 700,000 family and friends estimated to be caring for people with dementia in the UK. Professor Williamson will lead on research with family carers and further raise the profile of the challenges they face.

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  • 'Shout loudly and stay focused' for better young dementia services

    'Shout loudly and stay focused' for better young dementia services

    24.09.18 There are only 10 specialist young onset dementia (YOD) teams employed by the NHS across the country, Young Dementia Annual Conference delegates heard, with one speaker blaming the “paucity” of services on the failure of the government and service commissioners to give YOD priority. Simon O’Donovan, from the Younger Onset Dementia Service in Cardiff, said his specialist team was the only one to have a dedicated inpatient unit for YOD. Among the advantages of the service had been reduced time to diagnosis, earlier intervention and avoiding crises in care, which had saved the NHS money. While the service cost £258,000 year to run, savings had been calculated at £590,000 by avoiding care crises, demonstrating the economic case for specialist care. “My advice is shout loudly, stay focused, talk to commissioners and evidence the need,” O’Donovan said. Official figures suggest that there are 42,000 people with YOD.

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  • YOD diagnosis rates deserve 'public outcry', conference hears

    YOD diagnosis rates deserve 'public outcry', conference hears

    23.09.18 While two-thirds of people with dementia now receive a diagnosis, the figure for young onset dementia (YOD) remains stubbornly low partly because GPs are failing to record new cases correctly. Dr Jacqueline Hussey, speaking at the Young Dementia Annual Conference in Birmingham, said there should be a “public outcry” about the fact that only 39.2% of YOD cases are diagnosed. Hussey, an old age psychiatrist, said GPs still often took the view that there was no point in giving a diagnosis and did not know which of the official QOF codes to use for it. Conference delegates heard how it was essential that cases were correctly recorded as this was the basis on which funding was allocated and services commissioned. Michael Jackson, from Public Health England, told delegates that in March 26% of GP practices had zero returns for YOD. “That seems questionable to me,” he said.

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  • E-Newsletter 20 Sept 2018

    E-Newsletter 20 Sept 2018

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include research highlights from the Young Dementia conference last week, strain on family carers and the appointment of a new Professor of Family Care. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • JDC Asks...

    JDC Asks...

    Is professionalising the workforce the best way to make care work a more attractive career option?

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  • Stigma of incontinence must be tackled, says new report

    Stigma of incontinence must be tackled, says new report

    14.9.08 A workshop involving Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK, among others, has recommended tackling the stigma of incontinence and funding research into what is an “often ignored issue”. A report titled “My bladder and bowel own my life”produced from the workshop discusses the impact of incontinence on people with long term conditions like dementia. The report makes eight recommendations, including breaking the taboo around incontinence through more public discussion, better access to dedicated continence services, and investigation and development of technological and innovative solutions to continence problems. Report HERE

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  • Sector leaders 'blown away' by visit to Royal Star & Garter Homes

    Sector leaders 'blown away' by visit to Royal Star & Garter Homes

    13.09.18 Royal Star & Garter Homes, which cares for veterans and their partners who have disabilities and dementia and has homes in Solihull and Surbiton (Surrey), has been praised by Health Education England chair Sir Keith Pearson and chief nurse Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt. The pair visited the charity’s Surbiton home to discuss a new nursing associate role. “We’ve learned a great deal about how to provide care, particularly care for people living with dementia,” Sir Keith said. “It is humbling to see what is done here.” Professor Bayliss-Pratt agreed: “I’ve been overwhelmed and blown away by the kindness, the thoughtfulness, and the fact that people are really thinking about ‘how do I care really kindly and compassionately’ for these residents.” Royal Star & Garter Homes provides learning opportunities for training nursing associates from St George’s University Hospital and Kingston Hospital in south London.

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