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  • First Admiral Nurse to work in learning disabiities field

    First Admiral Nurse to work in learning disabiities field

    22.11.19 A partnership between Dementia UK and learning disability charity MacIntyre will see the creation of the first Admiral Nurse post in the learning disabilities field. Recruitment is now under way and it is envisaged that the Admiral Nurse will be based in Milton Keynes but have a national remit to support people with a learning disability (and their families) whom it is thought are also developing dementia. Sarah Ormston, MacIntyre’s health, dementia and wellbeing manager, said: "We are more committed than ever to continue our achievements in the field of learning disability and dementia.” Closing date for applications is 1 December.

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  • One in seven over-65s struggle with essential tasks and get no help

    One in seven over-65s struggle with essential tasks and get no help

    21.11.19 One in seven older people – equivalent to 1.5 million over-65s – have some level of unmet need for care and the number will rocket to 2.1 million by 2030. So said Age UK last week as it unveiled its general election manifesto, with its research showing that 15% of older people are struggling without the help they need to carry out essential daily tasks. It said that this “astonishingly high figure” would rise by another 600,000 over the coming decade unless the government invested a further £8 billion in social care in the next two years, giving more people assistance with tasks like getting out of bed, going to the toilet, washing and getting dressed.

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  • Impact of loss of linguistic skills

    Impact of loss of linguistic skills

    20.11.19 What happens when a person with dementia loses a second language – perhaps the one they use to communicate with those around them – and progressively returns to their first language? It was the subject of a Glasgow workshop, organised by Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, in which the potential consequences for family carers and care home staff were imagined through the reading of a new play. Three short performances explored the progressive return to Gaelic of a bilingual dementia patient and the consequences for family dynamics and care needs. According to the authors of an article on the bilingualism and dementia workshop on The Conversation website this week, it soon became clear that the subject matter of the play was “not a rare, isolated case,” but one which connected to health, wellbeing and cultural heritage.

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  • New book considers ethics and urges caution on murals in care homes

    New book considers ethics and urges caution on murals in care homes

    19.11.19 Following our debate on “environmental lies” in care homes at the UK Dementia Congress last week (see JDC Newsletter 8 November), Professor Mary Marshall writes to draw attention to her new e-book “Talking Murals – The use of murals in places where people with dementia live”. The free e-book, published by the HammondCare Dementia Centre in Australia, is a guide to the ethical and practical use of murals in care homes. “A mural should not be purchased without careful consideration of the pros and cons,” says Professor Marshall in the book. “A recent literature review (Gibson, 2018) points out that there is very little high quality or conclusive research about the use and misuse of murals.” And she told JDC: “I am pleased that the whole issue is now getting some serious attention.”

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  • 1.6m will have dementia by 2040 but economic costs rise faster

    1.6m will have dementia by 2040 but economic costs rise faster

    18.11.19 Social care costs associated with dementia are likely to rise even more rapidly than the numbers of people with the condition, says a new study from the London School of Economics (LSE), which finds that these costs will almost triple from £15.7 billion currently to £45.4 billion in 2040. Over the same period, the number of people with dementia is expected to nearly double to 1.6 million. According to the LSE, people with dementia and their families are already shouldering £9 billion a year in social care costs themselves, prompting Alzheimer’s Society to call on politicians to commit to fixing dementia care in the general election. In its report, commissioned by the Society, LSE says the proportion of older people living with severe dementia will also increase, with consequent intensification of social care input.

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  • Swimming prevents dementia, says report

    Swimming prevents dementia, says report

    15.11.19 Swimming is helping to save the health and social care system nearly £140 million every year in terms of expenditure on dementia. This is part of national body Swim England’s economic case for the activity in its new Value of Swimming report. Swim England is calling on the government and health care professionals to encourage swimming so as to “help people live longer, better, happier lives.” The organisation collected data on regular swimmers at more than 1,000 pools over 12 months and passed its findings to Sheffield Hallam University, which used a social value calculator tool to calculate cost savings to health and social care. According to this analysis, the largest health savings were made up from dementia (£139.5 million) and strokes (£100 million).

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  • Global funding scheme promotes projects focusing on brain health

    Global funding scheme promotes projects focusing on brain health

    14.11.19 A global funding awards programme recognising excellence in promoting brain health has been initiated by Alzheimer’s Society, the Alzheimer’s Association in the USA, and the Global Brain Health Institute. They said that the aim of the “Pilot Awards for Global Brain Health Leaders” was to support emerging leaders in brain health, ageing and dementia by funding small-scale projects, activities or studies to delay or prevent dementia. Among the 27 projects benefiting from overall funding of £533,000 this year are a study of air pollution and dementia in Brazil, an investigation of social media use as a possible precursor of cognitive decline in Egypt and a study of the effects of engagement in dance on people with dementia and their partners in the US. The funding is designed to enable participants to pilot test a project with a view to seeking further resources for scaling it up if successful.

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  • When are 'therapeutic untruths' in care homes just plain lies?

    When are 'therapeutic untruths' in care homes just plain lies?

    13.11.19 When can you lie to a care home resident? It was a hotly contested issue at UKDC last week, where delegates debated the use of “environmental lies” in care homes, such as fake windows with painted views, “bus stops” to which no bus ever comes, and disguised doors. “As a person with dementia when I go into a care home I do not want them to lie, either in the environment they create or in their actions,” said Keith Oliver, who opposed the motion that deceptive décor can play an important role in delivering person-centred care. It was an impassioned performance from Oliver, who has young onset dementia, which helped sway the audience from favouring environmental lies at the start of the debate to being firmly against by the end. But independent nurse consultant Lynne Phair, fought valiantly in favour of the motion and said there could be a therapeutic value in meeting the person with dementia in their own reality.

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  • Could new 'wonder drug' be too expensive for NHS?

    Could new 'wonder drug' be too expensive for NHS?

    12.11.19 A dementia wonder drug billed as possibly the “first new treatment in over 15 years” could be too expensive for the NHS to buy, Dr Adrian Ivinson, director of operations at the UK Dementia Research Institute has said. Speaking at the UK Dementia Congress (UKDC), organised by JDC, Ivinson said that “aducanumab”, an antibody treatment to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, could be available in Europe as soon as 2021. But afterwards he expressed concern about the costs. “A cost of £100,000 a year for a course of aducanumab wouldn’t be surprising,” he told JDC, “and that would be a very significant challenge for the NHS to afford.” Ivinson told UKDC that the aducanumab findings were a “game changer” and would reverse the exodus of companies which had begun following a series of setbacks in the search for antibody treatments.

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  • Worthy winners honoured at 10th National Dementia Care Awards

    Worthy winners honoured at 10th National Dementia Care Awards

    11.11.19 Professor Dawn Brooker scooped the Lifetime Achievement in Dementia Care 2019 Award at a glittering ceremony organised by the Journal of Dementia Care last Thursday. The 10th National Dementia Care Awards, held at Doncaster Racecourse immediately following UK Dementia Congress, saw a host of high achievers in dementia care rewarded for their exceptional work. In addition to Wendy Mitchell, who received her accolade for Exceptional Contribution by a Person Living with Dementia from Alzheimer’s Society CEO Jeremy Hughes, there were many other worthy award winners.

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