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  • Did lockdown sedation contribute to high dementia death rates?

    Did lockdown sedation contribute to high dementia death rates?

    29.07.20 Alzheimer Scotland has warned that sedation to manage “lockdown distress” may have contributed to a stark increase in dementia death rates, according to the Glasgow Evening Times. The charity’s director of policy and research Jim Pearson is quoted as saying that lockdown restrictions in care homes and hospitals led to increased levels of distress, loneliness and isolation and accelerated the progression of dementia “beyond what you would normally expect.” He tells the paper: “We have some idea without evidence that, with the high levels of stress and anxiety affecting people with dementia, there was a potential that they may be being sedated. We don’t know that, but we have an anxiety and concern. And how do you verify that because people weren’t getting visitors?” The Scottish Government said there was no evidence of any changes in prescribing practice but that it was working closely with Alzheimer Scotland to establish the facts.

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  • SCIE issues new and revised guidelines on coronavirus

    SCIE issues new and revised guidelines on coronavirus

    28.07.20 The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has updated its coronavirus advice hub with new and revised guidance for providers. It includes new guidance on delivering safe adult day care, guidance and training on key topics like infection control, dementia, and mental capacity, and a variety of resources for different parts of the sector such as care homes and home care. Guidance link here

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  • Some care homes refuse visits but sector welcomes guidance

    Some care homes refuse visits but sector welcomes guidance

    25.07.20 Social care providers have given a guarded welcome to new government guidance on care home visits, which are now resuming where safe. Many, but not all, care homes are now allowing visitors, although decisions will be locally led with directors of public health taking charge of risk assessment processes to determine whether visits are safe to specific care homes in specific communities. Face coverings and social distancing will be necessary. Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Kate Lee said visits were vital to residents’ health: “With a massive 52% increase in non-virus related deaths, getting family carers safely back in homes is a matter of life and death for many people with dementia.” But she expressed concern that there was no central accountability for local decision-makers, “which may well mean that nothing will change.”
    Many care homes are already ahead of this, and have persevered in establishing their own guidelines to facilitate visits.

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  • Entry deadline for National Dementia Care Awards 2020 extended

    Entry deadline for National Dementia Care Awards 2020 extended

    24.07.20 The entry deadline for the National Dementia Care Awards 2020 has been extended to Friday 7 August. It will be the 11th annual Awards and they have become well established in recognising and rewarding best practice in dementia care. Dementia care providers are invited to enter the Awards, celebrating their staff and their achievements as well as highlighting excellence and innovation.

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  • Major study confirms much higher risks faced by care home staff

    Major study confirms much higher risks faced by care home staff

    22.07.20 The biggest study of coronavirus infection rates so far has confirmed the far higher risks faced by care home and health care workers. Conducted by Imperial College London, the study of 120,000 volunteers tested for coronavirus during May found that care workers were 7.7 times more likely than non-keyworkers to test positive, while health care workers were 5.2 times more likely to test positive. These findings are at least partly explained by keyworkers’ likelier contact with Covid-19 cases, the study showing that contact made individuals 24 times more likely to test positive. Commissioned by the Department for Health and Social Care, the study showed that rates of infection halved every 8 to 9 days during the May lockdown with an average of 13 positive cases for every 10,000 people.

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  • Research reveals fears over visits

    Research reveals fears over visits

    21.07.20 Having been warned by leading charities of a “hidden catastrophe” in care homes owing to the ban on family visits, health secretary Matt Hancock told ITV News that “covid-secure visiting” will resume shortly in care home across England. But new research from dementia care specialists Vida Healthcare reveals that 40% of UK adults would be apprehensive about not being able to visit relatives if they moved into a care home. The research also suggests that 76% of respondents still don’t think it is safe for their relatives to move into a care home and 53% worry that a loved one’s health would deteriorate if they took up a place during the pandemic. “We need to work together to ensure that people seeking high quality care for their loved ones have confidence in the sector," said Vida Healthcare managing director James Rycroft.

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  • Lockdown left well over half of people with dementia totally isolated

    Lockdown left well over half of people with dementia totally isolated

    20.07.20 Four-fifths of people with dementia who live alone and well over half of people with dementia as a whole (56%) have been completely isolated since the coronavirus lockdown began. The results of an Alzheimer’s Society survey, published in the Guardian, revealed that 80% of those who lived alone had seen no family or friends since March and overall a third of those living with the condition felt like “giving up”. Chris Maddocks, who lives with dementia, told the Guardian: “My mental health and state of mind has taken a hit because of coronavirus and I know I’m not alone. I have been much more depressed and anxious. You can never underestimate the power of social contact and being around loved ones, particularly for people living with dementia. I hit a down point. It’s like a bereavement because it happened so quickly and I felt like there were no alternatives. You’re left without a routine and stuck in limbo. I can’t help but feel hopeless and helpless as I look to the future.”

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  • Sector storm of protest as new immigration rules exclude workers

    Sector storm of protest as new immigration rules exclude workers

    18.07.20 Social care workers have been excluded from a new points-based immigration system announced by the government this week, despite calls for special arrangements for the sector which already has 122,000 vacancies and depends heavily on staff from overseas. Sector bodies condemned the measures with the National Care Forum (NCF) describing them as the “wrong policy at the wrong time.” It said the measures, which take effect from January, would be implemented “in the midst of the flu season and a predicted second wave [of coronavirus] when social care will need all the staff it can get to support the entire health and social care system.” The NCF added: “Any new immigration system must provide a migratory route for social care staff if we are to reduce vacancies and ensure we have a skilled workforce in place during the transition while we wait for the urgency of reform to translate into action.”

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  • E-Newsletter - 17 July 2020

    E-Newsletter - 17 July 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include a major study confirms much higher risks faced by staff in care homes and new research suggesting that many people still don’t think it is safe for their relatives to move into a care home. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Wales charity partnership improves pre-bereavement dementia support

    Wales charity partnership improves pre-bereavement dementia support

    17.07.20 A new dementia support project in Wales will see bereavement charity Cruse working in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society Cymru. Called “Supporting loss along the journey with dementia”, the project will focus on improving access to pre-bereavement support and will assist people diagnosed with dementia and their families in managing and coping with feelings of loss. Under the project plans Cruse Bereavement Care Cymru and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru will recruit and train volunteers, develop a new training module, deliver awareness raising sessions and develop fact sheets for people with dementia and carers.

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