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  • Cognitive stimulation through book clubs

    Cognitive stimulation through book clubs

    Book clubs are a great way to promote cognitive stimulation among people with dementia. Lynne Phair and colleagues are building an evidence base for their new approach in care homes and hospitals

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  • Call for care homes to enter 'Favourite Memories' competition

    Call for care homes to enter 'Favourite Memories' competition

    19.07.19 Care homes are being invited to enter a #GladtoCare competition centred on reminiscence and sharing memories for people with dementia. Run by the company Person Centred Software, which has teamed up with InteractiveMe and Sporting Memories, the competition’s theme this year is "Favourite Memories". The idea is to chat with residents and enter favourite memories for as many of them as possible into the competition, the closing date for which is 31 October. Prizes include a free tablet computer and useful resources from InteractiveMe and Sporting Memories. Here is the competition entry link HERE

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  • Alexa will dispense NHS health advice

    Alexa will dispense NHS health advice

    19.07.19 Amazon’s Alexa voice-assisted technology has been recruited to offer people NHS advice on health care in their own homes. According to the Department of Health and Social Care, it will help older people “take control of their health care” as they will be able to ask Alexa simple health questions and receive NHS-verified information voiced by Alexa in return. "We want to empower every patient to take better control of their health care and technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hard-working GPs and pharmacists,” said health secretary Matt Hancock.

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  • Acclaimed author Wendy Mitchell awarded doctorates

    Acclaimed author Wendy Mitchell awarded doctorates

    16.07.19 News from Wendy Mitchell’s blog Which me am I today? (10 July): “This month 2 universities have given me the honour of presenting me with a Doctorate – Bradford Uni is next week and yesterday my local Hull University started off a wonderful week.” Wendy, who has young onset dementia and is author of the acclaimed memoir Somebody I Used to Know, said she was “overwhelmed and humbled,” adding: “Usually I never get nervous, but this was a truly alien experience, after all I’d never been deemed clever enough to go to University in my youth, so this was totally unexpected in my life.”

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  • UCL therapy programme for carers shows big effect

    UCL therapy programme for carers shows big effect

    18.07.19 A programme of therapy for family carers of people with dementia has successfully helped them develop coping strategies and led to dramatic improvements in their long-term mental health. The START (STrAtegies for RelaTives) programme, given by psychology graduates rather than qualified clinicians, is delivered over eight sessions with an emphasis on planning for the future and is the result of research led by Professor Gill Livingston at University College London. When carers who had gone through the programme were followed up six years later, they were five times less likely to have clinically significant depression than carers who were not offered the programme. The approach has also been shown to be cost effective. Alzheimer’s Society head of research James Pickett described the research as a “major breakthrough”.

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  • Funding for technological solutions

    Funding for technological solutions

    17.07.19 Extra funding of £135 million has been announced by the government for research on tackling health care challenges like dementia, obesity and mental health problems. Part of the NHS long-term plan, the funding will be channelled through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for research projects aiming to reduce demand on the NHS and support people to manage their own health care.
    Fifteen partnerships, made up of NHS organisations, social care services, academics, innovators and local authorities, have been awarded the new funding.

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  • MPs demand action as charity highlights damming picture of care

    MPs demand action as charity highlights damming picture of care

    16.07.19 A “damning picture” has been painted by an Alzheimer’s Society analysis showing that people with dementia have spent £15 billion of their own money on social care since the government first promised to reform the system in March 2017. All the evidence shows that, since the government initially held out the prospect of the still unpublished social care Green Paper more than two years ago, the “dementia care crisis has reached absolute breaking point,” the charity said. ” In an open letter to prime ministerial contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, 93 MPs from across the political spectrum demanded immediate action on social care by whoever gets the job. Signatories to the letter, who included 22 Conservative and 61 Labour MPs, backed Alzheimer Society’s campaign for a Dementia Fund to plug the hole in social care’s finances until the government comes up with a long-term solution.

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  • Dementia ambassador Joy Watson attacked

    Dementia ambassador Joy Watson attacked

    15.07.19 Alzheimer’s Society ambassador Joy Watson, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in her mid-50s, was punched in the face and spent two days in hospital after telling a man to stop beating his dog. Joy fell to the ground during the ordeal and ended up with a bloody nose and fractured eye socket. She told the Manchester Evening News: “I pulled into a lay-by... I then saw this lady and gentleman. The man had a huge Alsatian. He was having trouble with it as he was pulling and tugging. The man then started kicking it. I told [his wife] that if he did not stop attacking the dog I would report him... He then thumped me, not a push….I went down and hit my head on the concrete ground. My nose was gushing with blood. The couple got back in the car, and drove around me, not knowing if I was dead or alive." A roadside café owner raised the alarm and Humberside police are investigating the case.

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  • E-Newsletter 12 July 2019

    E-Newsletter 12 July 2019

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include Amazon "dementia restraint" products, new research on therapy for family carers and Alexa giving out health advice. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Campaigners express fury over Amazon 'dementia restraint' products

    Campaigners express fury over Amazon 'dementia restraint' products

    15.07.19 Products advertised on Amazon as “dementia restraints” have been condemned by campaigners. Philly Hare, co-director of Innovations in Dementia, called on parliamentarians to take “urgent action” to have the adverts removed and said it was “immediately obvious that these contravene the human rights of people with dementia and are arguably instruments of torture.” In an email to the all-party parliamentary group on dementia she added: “The photos and images are barbaric, and the descriptions are also alarming, using phrases such as ‘clothing for spiritual madness’ and ‘mental manicure’.” Alzheimer’s Society policy director Sally Copley said the charity was contacting Amazon to advise that the word “dementia” should be removed from the product descriptions. Some of the items are understood to have been removed by Amazon following the outcry.

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