Carers' Corner

We all need a little break sometime. Kick back, relax and chat amongst yourselves in this group.

NICE launches quality standards to help improve health and wellbeing of people with dementia

Dementia is one of the first conditions to have been given social care quality standards by the renamed National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today (Wednesday 3 April 2013).
The standards include a set of ten statements for care homes and services to follow in order to maintain the mental and physical health and wellbeing of people with dementia. The standards range from people with dementia being given choice and control in decisions affecting their care through to being enabled to take part in activities based on their individual interests.

First ever step-by-step guide to deal with dementia produced

THE scourge of dementia is now so prevalent health experts have produced a step-by-step guide to living with the crippling condition.
Tens of thousands of Alzheimer’s sufferers are being placed into care far too early and should be cared for at home, they said.

The situation is so bad that charity, Alzheimer’s Society took the unprecedented step of producing a guide for sufferers and their families.

Research showed the vast majority with the condition want to stay in the comfort of a loving home environment for as long as possible.

Dementia Diagnosis Rates

Dementia diagnosis rates are too low. Less than half of people living with dementia in the UK have a diagnosis. There are also big differences between diagnosis rates in different areas. At Alzheimer's Society, we are campaigning to make improvements in diagnosis rates.

Alzheimer's Society continue:

A wife's awesome devotion to a husband with dementia

There's a place close to where we live that my husband, Howard, and I sometimes drive past on the bus.
Last year, when it was being refurbished, there was a board outside saying it would shortly be reopening as a private nursing home dedicated to dementia cases.
Every time he saw it, Howard would joke: ‘That’s where I’ll end up.’ And every time I would look away and change the subject.

Mail on-line continue the report that sadly strikes a chord with many..

New member - help please

Hi there, I'm a new member. My husband and I are carers, but work full-time. I'm really interested in finding a reliable care worker/company that can help look after a loved one with dementia during the day time (still in her own home and we wish to keep it that way for as long as is safely possible for her). If you have any good contacts/recommended carers in the South Cheshire area I'd really appreciate it.

The dreams that can be an early sign of dementia:

Middle-aged men who physically act out their dreams while asleep are five times more likely to develop dementia, researchers have found.
Moving around, walking, talking or hitting out while asleep is the strongest predictor that a man will develop dementia with Lewy bodies – the second most common form of dementia in the elderly after Alzheimer's.
Another example would be unconsciously mimicking the action of holding a steering wheel while dreaming about driving a car.
Physically acting out dreams is a condition known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder.

Dementia, I feel robbed

My story began four years ago, maybe five when I think about it. George started doing strange things such as writing his hours in his work books with a pencil with a rubber on rather than a pen so he could rub out his mistakes, going in on the wrong days for his shifts on the railway, not knowing places I asked him to take me in the car that he had always known the way too. ..

Alzheimer's Society continues:

Are you missing out on NHS cash to pay care home fees?

Nine years ago, at the age of 81, George Spencer had a massive stroke that left him in need of round-the-clock care.
He is unaware of his surroundings and unable to communicate; he is fed and medicated through a tube because he can’t swallow, is doubly incontinent, at high risk of pressure sores, and in constant danger of suffocating, choking, falling out of bed or slipping from his bath chair. He is largely bed-bound, and staff in his Suffolk nursing home use a hoist to move him.

The Telegraph take up the report:

Funding of £164m to Care for Long Term

From April, there will be changes to the GP contract to redirct £164 million funding from routine office functions such as record keeping, and going directly to caring and monitoring long term conditions and assessing patients at risk of dementia.

Support Solutions report:

Keeping active and staying involved

As a person's dementia develops, it is likely to have an impact on some of their abilities but there will still be lots that the person can enjoy doing, both individually and with others. Maintaining existing skills, as far as possible, can give the person pleasure and boost their confidence. For this reason, it is important to help them find activities that they enjoy doing, and to continually adapt them to meet the person's changing interests and needs, throughout the illness.

Dementia can steal ability to discern flavors

People with dementia can lose their capacity to understand sights, sounds and words. And in some cases, the condition can also take away the meaning of flavors, a new study suggests.

Those with a specific type of dementia, called semantic dementia, have a harder time identifying flavors and determining whether a certain flavor combination would generally be considered unusual, the researchers found.

From across the Pond NBC news:

New survey to gather views of carers of people with dementia

The following request comes from Carers Trust:

We are inviting any person who cares for someone with dementia to complete our survey — part of a new research project to help us understand this group’s needs and improve future services for them.

The survey coincides with a dementia roundtable event hosted today (7th March) by Carers Trust and Alzheimer’s Society and attended by Carers Trust President HRH The Princess Royal.

A strong message from the event was that despite ever-increasing demands, carers for people with dementia feel strongly that their needs are not being recognised.

New money guide launched for dementia sufferers

A new guide to help people suffering with dementia and their carers deal with personal finances has been launched today.
The guide marks the start of an inititaive between Lloyds Banking Group and Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland in which they plan to find ways to make the banking sector more 'dementia friendly'.
Today's launch is a first step by the partners to encourage people living with dementia, their family members and carers to think about what they need to do to future-proof the management of their finances.

Your Money take up the report here:

Cheshire East - Healthwatch

Use your voice to improve local health & social care services in Cheshire East by joining Healthwatch. You may want to help sign-post people to appropriate services, keep up-to-date with recent healthcare developments, or voice your opinion on board meetings.

Email for further information

Rally Round

Organise jobs and helpers…FREE resource
If someone is frail, living with dementia, recovering from cancer or a stroke or simply 'off their legs' for a while Rally Round can help…

Living with dementia magazine March 2013

Alzheimer's Society monthly magazine available now via Pdf download.

Alzheimer’s Sufferers May Function Better With Less Visual Clutter

Psychologists at the University of Toronto and the Georgia Institute of Technology — commonly known as Georgia Tech — have shown that an individual’s inability to recognize once-familiar faces and objects may have as much to do with difficulty perceiving their distinct features as it does with the capacity to recall from memory.

Full report via Dementia Today:

Speech “Gone” Due to Alzheimer’s Returns After Starting Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is in the news again...
I know some of our members have used it, would be interesting to see if you have any comments on this report?

How can The MedicAlert Foundation help?

If you or a member of your family are diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, it can be a stressful and worrying time. It can put the whole family under pressure emotionally and financially. MedicAlert help to give you and your family peace of mind adjusting to life after a diagnosis. We will store a detailed medical record about the condition, history, medication as well as emergency contact details.

Using ICT in activities for people with dementia

Hi all, though most of you are not managers of a care facility, I think this is worth sharing...

This is a short introduction to using information and communication technology (ICT) in activities for people with dementia. It is aimed at managers and staff in the care sector, and those who organise activities for people with dementia. It's a plain language guide about using mainstream technologies - you don't need to be technically minded. We hope it will be useful for you whether you are new to this topic or already have some experience of using ICTs in dementia support.