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  • Care homes should offer 'more nourishing food and drink', expert says

    Care homes should offer 'more nourishing food and drink', expert says

    30.01.19 A hospitality expert has launched a one-man mission against “sub-standard food and service” for people with dementia in care homes after finding that the average care home spends an average of just £2.44 a day on food and drink for residents. Norman Dinsdale, a former chef and hospitality management lecturer at Sheffield Business School, arrived at the figure after interviewing caterers and managers at nine residential care homes. “I was devastated to see several members of my family and extending circle of friends living and dying with dementia, some in care homes,” Dinsdale said. “For people living with dementia, nourishing food and drink is an essential requirement. I found there was plenty of information on nutrition, dietetics and nursing, but zero on how caterers and nutritionists should work together.” Dinsdale said he wanted care homes to introduce better systems so that they could give residents more to look forward to and improve their quality of life.

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  • First workshop for Meeting Centres Support Programme announced

    First workshop for Meeting Centres Support Programme announced

    29.01.18 The first of a series of Meeting Centres workshops will be held in March following major new funding to support the expansion of the centres across the UK. It comes after a Big Lottery Fund award of £587,000 to the University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies to run the Meeting Centres Support Programme, which will support communities to set up the Meeting Centres as local resources offering warm and friendly expert help to people living at home with dementia. The workshop, the first of many to take place in different areas during the coming year, is scheduled for the University of Worcester Arena on 26 March. It is designed to help people think about and plan how a Meeting Centre might work in their community. For more information on the workshop and to book a free place, click HERE

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  • Proposals for DoLS replacement are 'entirely unfit', say charities

    Proposals for DoLS replacement are 'entirely unfit', say charities

    28.01.19 An open letter signed by 13 charities, including Alzheimer’s Society, calls on the government to change its plans for what the letter describes as an “entirely unfit system of protection” to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, now before the House of Commons, would introduce a new system of “Liberty Protection Safeguards”, but critics say that the Bill would hand too much power to care home managers and private hospitals, who would be able to deprive someone in care of their liberty without sufficient independent safeguards. In the letter, the charities express dismay at the “lack of improvement” within the Bill and describe it as a “rushed, incomplete and unworkable Bill that will only replace one dysfunctional system with another.” It questions whether the planned safeguards will uphold people’s fundamental rights and avoid the risk of exploitation and abuse.

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  • E-Newsletter 25 Jan 2019

    E-Newsletter 25 Jan 2019

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include DoLS replacement proposals and nutrition in care homes. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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  • New funding to focus on arts and creativity

    New funding to focus on arts and creativity

    25.01.19 An arts-based dementia day care service is to be launched in Manchester thanks to the award of a £97,500 grant in memory of the MP Jo Cox. The money from the Building Connections Fund will be ploughed into what the charities Community Integrated Care (CIC) and Age Exchange describe as a “pioneering new service,” which will use arts, reminiscence and creative activities to engage people with dementia in day care. Opening in March at CIC’s EachStep Blackley care home, it will be known as the EachStep Club and will support 15 people in the early stages of dementia – and their carers – for one day a week. Rebecca Packwood, CEO of Age Exchange, said: “This innovative service will change lives by bringing people together, enabling them to follow their passions and create lasting friendships and support networks. We believe that this unique and much needed service will be a fitting tribute to the memory of Jo Cox.”

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  • ONS statistics on 'sandwich carers'

    ONS statistics on 'sandwich carers'

    24.01.19 More than a quarter of “sandwich carers” – those caring both for older relatives and children – are suffering from mental ill-health including anxiety and depression, reports the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It said that around 3% of the UK population – approximately 1.3 million people – were now sandwich carers and that almost 27% of them had mental health problems. “The more hours spent caring for an adult, the more likely sandwich carers are to experience feelings of anxiety or depression,” the ONS said. More than a third of sandwich carers providing 20 hours or more of adult care a week report symptoms of mental ill-health, compared with less than a quarter of those providing under five hours. Helen Walker, chief executive, Carers UK, said the figures were “no surprise” and “Beyond dual caring responsibilities, there is increasing pressure on this group to juggle work with caring and, as a result, it is one of the most time-poor and stressed generations.”

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  • Care homes win top accolades

    Care homes win top accolades

    23.01.19 Accolades have been announced for three dementia care homes, two “outstanding” ratings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and one in form of recognition from Dementia Care Matter’s (DCM) Butterfly accreditation scheme. Brunelcare’s Deerhurst care home in Bristol was rated as a “level 1” Butterfly home for the sixth year running, in recognition of the quality of life enjoyed by residents with dementia. DCM’s founder David Sheard said: “The DCM level 1 rating is very rare as there are only 17 level 1 homes across the five countries we are now working in.” Springfield Court Nursing Home (Lancashire) was declared outstanding by the CQC. At Northbourne care home in Gateshead – emphasis was on helping residents avoid social isolation. “They had signposted various local places of interest for people to explore and showed what was on offer, as well as invited local community groups into the home,” said CQC regional head of inspection Ros Sanderson.

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  • Care home managers get “too much power” under DoLS proposals

    Care home managers get “too much power” under DoLS proposals

    22.01.19 Plans to replace the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) with a more effective system have been criticised by charities, lawyers and the Labour party, according to a report in the Guardian. Under the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, now being considered by the House of Commons, a decision to deprive someone in care of their liberty would have to be justified under a new streamlined system of “liberty protection safeguards”. But the Law Society, Labour and charities including Alzheimer’s Society have told the Guardian that it will hand too much power to care home managers and private hospitals.

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  • Active lives build brain resilience in people with dementia, says research

    Active lives build brain resilience in people with dementia, says research

    21.01.19 More evidence that active lifestyles have a protective effect on the brain has come from a US study, which looked at the impact of physical activity on a range of older people including many with dementia. It found that older adults who moved more than average, either by taking regular physical exercise or by engaging in routine activities such as housework, retained more of their memory and thinking skills than those who moved less than average. Scientists at Rush University in Chicago said that even older people who already showed signs of dementia had better retention of cognitive abilities if they were more active. "We measured levels of physical activity in study participants an average of two years prior to their deaths, and then examined their donated brain tissue after death, and found that a more active lifestyle may have a protective effect on the brain," said Dr Aron Buchman, lead author of the study paper in the journal Neurology.

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  • E-Newsletter 18 Jan 2019

    E-Newsletter 18 Jan 2019

    I am delighted to bring you my week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include care home managers' powers under the DoLS proposals and a new research programme on palliative care for people with dementia. It is an editor's selection which I hope you will enjoy.

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