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  • DoLS reforms based on 'deeply flawed assumptions'

    DoLS reforms based on 'deeply flawed assumptions'

    01.04.19 As a Bill to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) returns to the House of Commons for debate next week, an analysis by a leading campaign group has claimed that the proposed new law is “opaque and illogical”. The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), which represents a broad range of disability charities, said that the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill could dilute human rights and impose significant new responsibilities on independent and voluntary sector providers of social care. The Bill proposes to replace DoLS with a new system of Liberty Protection Safeguards, which critics including Alzheimer’s Society claim place too much power in the hands of care home managers. “This new analysis highlights deeply flawed assumptions underpinning government’s mental capacity reforms,” said VODG chief executive Rhidian Hughes.

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  • Colten Care trains first cohort of nursing associates

    Colten Care trains first cohort of nursing associates

    29.03.19 South coast care home provider Colten Care is leading the way with training a new category of nurses called “nursing associates,” an intermediate role between care assistants and registered nurses. Colten Care has an initial nine-strong group of trainees for the role at Solent University, who will train for two years before they become eligible for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. It is an apprenticeship scheme, which enables trainees to work and study while freeing up registered nurses to focus on more complex clinical duties.

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  • Dementia 2020 Citizens' Panel

    Dementia 2020 Citizens' Panel

    29.03.19 A call has gone out from the Dementia 2020 Citizens’ Panel for England, hosted by the Department of Health, for people diagnosed with dementia and those close to them to take part in a short survey. They say they want to understand more about people’s experiences of living with dementia and that the survey will only take 10 – 15 minutes to complete. “The information we collect will play a direct role in planning and improving services for the future,” they add. The survey questionnaire focuses specifically on the daily lives of people diagnosed with dementia, dementia-friendly communities and dementia research. Link to survey HERE

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  • Is care at home cheaper than a care home?

    Is care at home cheaper than a care home?

    28.03.19 Researchers have cast doubt on the widespread view that care in people’s own homes is cheaper than residential care for people with dementia. In an article on the “Social Care Elf” website, academic Bo Hu summarises findings from a study in Germany, France and the UK. It found that spousal caregivers were the critical factor in determining how long people could remain at home before admission to a care home became necessary: people with a spousal caregiver stayed at home 2.6 years longer than those with a non-spousal caregiver. Findings suggest that “it becomes questionable whether care home services are more expensive than community-based care." says Bo Hu. Article HERE

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  • King's College London invites contributors to research

    King's College London invites contributors to research

    27.03.19 Readers of the Journal of Dementia Care have been invited to contribute their views to a new study by King’s College London, where researchers have been awarded nearly £200,000 to explore the use of “residential respite” or short care home stays by people with dementia and their carers. The “Taking a Break” study, by the NIHR Health and Social Care Workforce Research Unit, will examine the take-up, experience and outcomes of residential respite, talking both to those who have used it and those who have not. The research team also wants to speak to staff and managers whose care homes provide respite breaks. While the study focuses on England, all views will be welcome and any early findings from other research or consultations would be helpful, the team says. More info HERE

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  • New setback in search for drug to treat Alzheimer's

    New setback in search for drug to treat Alzheimer's

    26.03.19 Trials for a “promising” Alzheimer’s disease treatment have been halted in the second blow this year to hopes of finding a drug to delay cognitive decline. Pharmaceutical companies Biogen and Eisai have terminated phase 3 trials of aducanumab, an antibody intended to prevent the build-up of amyloid protein in the brain, one of the trademark indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. Their decision follows an announcement from pharma company Roche at the start of the year that it too would abandon trials of another amyloid-targeting antibody treatment called crenezumab. “This tells us that removal of amyloid in people with disease is too late,” John Hardy of University College London was quoted as saying. “Amyloid is a disease trigger. Once the neurodegenerative disease process is up and running, it is up and running.” Alzheimer’s Society said the decision was “sad and unexpected” and described the drug as having been “promising”.

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  • People with dementia dying early because of austerity, academic claims

    People with dementia dying early because of austerity, academic claims

    25.03.19 Government spending cuts during eight years of austerity have resulted in people with dementia “now dying earlier than that group did before,” according to an article by Professor Danny Dorling, a leading commentator on social justice issues. In a blog for the BMJ Dorling, a social geographer at Oxford University, writes that they are dying earlier because “care for people with dementia has worsened as austerity bites. People’s families are less able to care for them in these austerity years and adult social services have been repeatedly decimated.” Dorling accuses the Department of Health and NHS of systematically downplaying the impact of austerity. Blog post

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  • E-Newsletter 22 March 2019

    E-Newsletter 22 March 2019

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include the costs of care at home and care homes, a Dementia 2020 Citizens' Panel and Colten Care's first cohort of nursing associates. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • US dementia mortality rate more than doubles in two decades

    US dementia mortality rate more than doubles in two decades

    22.03.19 Mortality rates from dementia have more than doubled over the past two decades in the United States, a research team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. Researchers calculated that, overall, age-adjusted death rates for dementia increased from 30.5 deaths per 100,000 population in the year 2000 to 66.7 in 2017. Just 84,000 deaths in the US were attributed to dementia in 2000, compared with 262,000 in 2017 – 46% of the latter were due to Alzheimer’s disease. "Part of what is likely happening is people are living to older ages, and those are the ages where your risk of dementia is the highest," lead researcher Ellen Kramarow told the journal Medical Xpress. “If you haven’t died of heart disease or cancer or something else and you get to the very oldest ages, your risk for getting dementia is higher.” But, as in the UK, a portion of the increase could be a change in the way that deaths are recorded.

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  • Hospital study on wards reduces falls by a third

    Hospital study on wards reduces falls by a third

    21.03.19 A clinical study which used digital technology to monitor hospital patients with dementia resulted in a marked reduction in falls. Optical sensors placed on two wards at Manor Hospital, near Coventry, led to a one-third drop in falls during the night because they were able to detect activity and measure the vital signs of patients in their bedrooms. A report on the study, by Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and Oxehealth, also found that time spent by nurses on enhanced observations of patients reduced by 71% during the eight-month study period last year compared with the same period in 2017. This equated to a time saving of 7,800 hours a year for the hospital, coupled with a 56% decline in demand for A&E attendance. Tracey Wrench, trust chief nurse and chief operating officer, said that staff had been able to anticipate falls and respond faster. “The one third reduction in falls is very encouraging, and the remaining falls have been less serious,” she said.

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