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  • 'Where best next?' campaign aims to reduce hospital stays

    'Where best next?' campaign aims to reduce hospital stays

    06.09.19 An NHS campaign to end unnecessary long stays in hospital has been welcomed by care providers, but they say it will only work if social care is supported too. In the “Where Best Next?” campaign NHS nurses and doctors are being encouraged to actively consider whether patients are ready to leave hospital, the aim being to reduce hospital stays to below three weeks for 140,000 people every year. Nearly 350,000 patients currently spend over three weeks in acute hospitals. “Not only is [a shorter stay] better for them, reducing the risk of infection or loss of mobility for older people in particular, but it also means that more beds are available for others who need care too, easing pressure on A&E and other parts of the system,” said NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis.

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  • Leading designer transforms care home room with immersive tech

    Leading designer transforms care home room with immersive tech

    05.09.19 “Multi-sensory immersive technology” has been used to create a sensory room in a south-west London care home by a leading design researcher from Kingston University. Dr Anke Jakob collaborated with care staff and residents’ families to design the room at Coombe Hill Manor care home, which is part of the Signature Group. The room, formally opened by the mayor of Kingston, includes colour-changing fibre optic lights and a high-specification projector which shows images to create a sense of tranquillity and stimulate memories. The Bluetooth-enabled projector also plays music, shows photos and videos and enables family contact via Skype.

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  • Blue badge scheme extended to people with dementia

    Blue badge scheme extended to people with dementia

    04.09.19 Plans to extend “blue badge” parking permits to people with dementia and other hidden disabilities came into force in England today. Revised guidance to local authorities from the Department for Transport has been issued to take account of new eligibility criteria allowing people with non-physical disabilities to qualify for the permits. It says that “people who experience non-physical (‘hidden’) disabilities that result in very considerable difficulty whilst walking should be considered eligible to receive a blue badge.” But it will be up to local authorities to interpret the new rules. The government said the revised rules would enable people with dementia to stay connected to family and friends.

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  • Housing compendium gives examples of best practice

    Housing compendium gives examples of best practice

    16.08.19 The national Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN) has added to its dementia resources library with a new compendium of best practice in dementia care. It put out a call during Dementia Action Week in May for examples of housing-related support for people with dementia to develop meaningful relationships, and the compendium has been compiled from these examples. Examples range from informal arrangements to formal provision, all aimed at reducing social isolation and loneliness in extra care and other housing schemes. For “Going the Extra Step: A compendium of best practice in dementia care,” click here

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  • Green dementia care promises to enhance wellbeing through nature

    Green dementia care promises to enhance wellbeing through nature

    14.08.19 In a week in which a world authority on climate change said plant-based diets were vital in averting global warning, “green dementia care” sounds like the way of the future too. The Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC) has just posted a blog on green dementia care, which is otherwise known as nature-based dementia care and aims to promote health and wellbeing through interaction with nature. It follows a research project, undertaken with the Association for Dementia Studies and funded by Abbeyfield, which explored enablers and barriers to nature-based care. “Many barriers to the provision of nature-based activities were identified during the study, including risk aversion, the availability of staff and volunteers, time and financial constraints, negative attitudes towards such activities, organisational policies, and the size and design of outdoor spaces,” says the blog.

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  • Survey shows support for tax rises to end social care crisis

    Survey shows support for tax rises to end social care crisis

    15.08.19 Most people would support tax rises to pay for social care, a survey by public sector union GMB suggests. Higher taxes to solve the social care crisis were endorsed by three out of four members (73%) of the public who took part, compared with only 7% who opposed a tax hike. The survey also found that 68% of respondents thought adult social care was in a poor state. “A third of carers leave the profession every year while funding is woefully behind what is needed,” said GMB national officer Kelly Andrews. Alzheimer’s Society director of policy and campaigns Sally Copley commented that the public were ready to take “tough decisions” about where the money should come from.

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  • Free online course on arts and rarer dementias

    Free online course on arts and rarer dementias

    13.08.19 Science and the creative arts offer a different perspective on dementia in a free online course - or “MOOC” - starting on 2 September. “Dementia and the Arts: Sharing Practice, Developing Understanding and Enhancing Lives,” which is accredited by the Royal Society of Public Health, aims to explore, challenge and shape perceptions of the dementias through science and the creative arts. According to University College London and the dementia arts project Created Out of Mind, which are behind the online course, it is an opportunity to “discover how the arts can create common ground between people and, in doing so, learn what we can all do to improve the quality of life and care for people living with different dementias.” A second online course called the Many Faces of Dementia will look at the stories, symptoms and science behind the less common diagnoses. Both courses are available on the Future Learn internet platform.

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  • Dementia still main cause of death

    Dementia still main cause of death

    12.08.19 Dementia continues to be the leading cause of death in England and Wales, accounting for 12.8% of all deaths registered last year compared with 9.3% in 2013. Figures just released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that, in keeping with previous figures, around twice as many women died with dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) as men. In 2018, these mortality figures were 45,726 for women and 23,752 for men. While dementia is the biggest cause of death overall, including for women where it accounted for 16.7% of deaths, it came in second for men for whom the major killer continues to be ischaemic heart disease. The ONS attributed the pre-eminence of dementia to an ageing population and increased reporting of dementia on death certificates.

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  • Health tech funding boost aims at 'cutting edge' dementia treatment

    Health tech funding boost aims at 'cutting edge' dementia treatment

    09.08.19 In his second health spending pledge this week, PM Boris Johnson splashed £250 million on a National Artificial Intelligence Lab, one of whose aims is to find “cutting edge” dementia treatments. It is the latest phase in the government’s programme to boost health technology and the new lab will sit within NHSX, which was created to “drive digital transformation” in the NHS. Among the aims, apart from expediting new treatments, is to enable more people to be treated closer to home and to free up hospital beds. It is hoped that the AI Lab will also help to identify patients most at risk of conditions such as dementia and allow for earlier diagnosis and cheaper, more focused, personalised prevention.

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  • E-Newsletter - 9 Aug 2019

    E-Newsletter - 9 Aug 2019

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include a housing compendium of best practice and free online courses sharing best practice on arts and rarer dementias. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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