This page shows the latest items from the Guardian Dementia newsfeed.
Homes are not assets to be passed on to children, says minister
12 October 2017, 8:18 am
Labour says Jackie Doyle-Price resurrected ‘dementia tax’ by saying taxpayer should not ‘prop up’ people with care needs
Homes should not be seen as assets for parents to pass to their children, a Conservative minister has said in new footage recorded from the party’s conference, which Labour said resurrected the idea of a “dementia tax”.
The social care minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, told a fringe meeting that many older people were “sitting in homes that really are too big for their needs” and said the party was still looking to make reforms to the funding of social care.
‘Childline for older people’ gives friendly ear to 10,000 lonely callers each week
4 October 2017, 8:11 am
As 75% of older people with depression say they feel lonely, the Silver Line takes calls all year round and helps connect people with their community
Anxiety and mobility issues mean that 76-year-old Anna Bolton* is usually housebound. But regular calls to a free, confidential helpline for older people have helped her “feel normal”.
Dementia is a terrible word. Why do people still use it?
30 September 2017, 8:45 am
It’s important to get an early diagnosis but the word is offensive and takes power away from people
Dementia is a word with a horrific impact.
I’m talking about the word and its origins, not the disease. I have observed people living well with dementia and this antiquated and negative term belittles the contribution to society that they can make. I am in my third year of a PhD and my research is based in care homes where I get to observe good care that challenges, includes and promotes a sense of purpose for residents with dementia. Before this I worked as a community nurse.
Dementia becomes leading cause of death for Australian women
27 September 2017, 6:17 am
Heart disease remains main cause of death overall, but better cardiovascular treatment and increasing life expectancy shift burden to dementia
Dementia has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death for Australian women, while the number of fatal drug overdoses has peaked above the levels of the late 1990s heroin epidemic, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death overall, causing 12% of all deaths in Australian in 2016, but the rate of death by heart disease has decreased by a third in the past decade while rates of dementia have risen.
Reeling in the years: dementia-friendly screenings make cinema accessible to all
21 September 2017, 10:19 am
Cinemas across the UK are hosting special screenings and reminiscence therapy activities for older audiences as part of World Alzheimer’s Month
It’s a little after 1.30pm on a Wednesday and a crowd has gathered outside the Rio cinema in Dalston, east London. The first film of the day will not start for another hour, but regulars to the monthly classic matinee are eager to grab their favourite seats.
The matinee is aimed at the community’s senior citizens and all the screenings are dementia-friendly. Cinemagoers are greeted warmly by the familiar faces of the Rio’s staff, who take their orders for tea, coffee and cake – all free with the £2 ticket.
The NHS should see care homes as partners, not problems | Claire Goodman
18 September 2017, 10:02 am
Care homes provide the majority of long-term healthcare to older people but provision is uneven. Our study shows how services can work together better
Care homes provide the majority of long-term healthcare to older people. They rely on primary care for access to medical support and referral to specialist services, yet studies consistently show that healthcare provision for care home residents across England is unpredictable and uneven.
For the NHS, care homes are a conundrum; they provide care that used to be supplied by the health service, but are often perceived as a poor alternative that generates avoidable demand on hospitals.
Make a playlist for someone with dementia: the results will astonish you | Sarah Metcalfe
1 September 2017, 3:33 pm
Music is neurologically special: we’re only just scratching the surface of what it can do for dementia sufferers – and for their carers and families
In October BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a six-hour programme blending music with the voices of people living with dementia, in a collaboration with the Wellcome Collection. It promises to be a moving demonstration of something we all need to know: that music can be a powerful tool for people with dementia.
We all know that flashback feeling when a song comes on the radio and takes you back to another time, person or place
Just speaking English won’t get us very far in the world | Letters
28 August 2017, 6:22 pm
Language learning is inextricably bound up with history, culture, business and economics. It is also a mental exercise that delays dementia – and many children find it fun, too. Readers’ responses to Simon Jenkins’ claim that modern language classes in schools are irrelevant
Simon Jenkins is accurate in nReadoting the falling numbers studying languages in the UK (Ignore the panic. There is little point learning languages at school, 25 August, theguardian.com). Almost everything else in his article flies in the face of the evidence. Reports from the British Academy, CBI, UK Trade and Investment and the British Council demonstrate not only the UK’s deficit in terms of language skills relative to its competitors, but also the clear benefits of learning languages across a whole range of domains such as health, security, business, diplomacy and intercultural understanding.
All the evidence shows clearly that speaking English is not enough in the contemporary world. The concept of “global English” is based on the very high numbers of people internationally who have learned English as a second language and who are therefore, by definition, bilingual or multilingual, benefiting from all the well-attested advantages – cognitive and other – of speaking more than one language.
Dementia systematically dismantles a person, one memory at a time
28 August 2017, 6:00 pm
When Harriet McKnight’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she told her family, ‘I’ll always be here for you, except sometimes when I’m not’
Several years ago my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My mother called to tell me. I don’t think I really understood what it meant at the time. She’s just more forgetful?
Dementia is everywhere at the moment – in films like Still Alice, in books like Goodbye, Vitamin or The Night Guest, even an old episode of Criminal Minds I happened to flick on the other night. We are drawn to investigating it in the arts, I think, because it’s the absolute unknowable. What is it like to feel your brain give out beneath you? Where’s the final edge between the present and the past?
Grandma Forgets: The picture book that helps families cope with pathos of dementia
26 August 2017, 1:48 pm
In a publishing first, Paul Russell uses his own experience to bring the disease out of the shadows for young readers
From the earliest fairytales warning of the dangers of talking to strangers in the woods, to Roald Dahl’s moral messages about selfishness and greed, stories for children have been useful devices to broach difficult subjects. Now a new picture book tackles an issue largely overlooked by children’s literature, yet which affects an increasing number of families: what happens when a grandparent has dementia?
Grandma Forgets, by Paul Russell, tells the story of a little girl dealing with her grandmother’s illness, touching on the cruelty of a condition that robs sufferers of their memories. In the story, Grandma does not recognise family members, forgets how to play their games and frequently loses Dad’s keys.
The obesity crisis: a healthy population needs a healthy environment | Letters
25 August 2017, 6:06 pm
Public Health England is not up to the task, says Rob Wheway; we all need to stop eating for winter, says Cian Foley; gardening and tai chi can help older people stay fit, says Louise Ansari; what priority is the government giving to preserving urban open spaces for pleasant walks, asks Mark Bryant
Public Health England (PHE) does not understand health. The letter (24 August) from its chief nutritionist, Dr Alison Tedstone, responding to my article on obesity (Want to fight obesity? Stop shrinking pizzas and let children play, 23 August) proves my point. PHE ignores the fact that for countless millennia children ran around near their own homes every day. Healthy exercise for free. Domination of the car in residential roads stopped this happening and the result has been increases in lack of fitness, obesity, diabetes and mental-health-related issues. We know from zoos that keeping mammals confined to small spaces results in poor physical and mental health, which is what has happened to our children.
In the 1850s Londoners were suffering from cholera and dysentery. Quacks and charlatans were offering expensive treatments, therapies and gimmicks which did not work. Joseph Bazalgette built the sewers, and public health improved dramatically. It can be seen that a healthy environment is the first requirement for a healthy population. PHE has not learned the lesson of the 1850s. It emphasises treating obesity rather than creating the environment that will prevent it in the first place. It resorts to substituting synthetic ingredients into food and gimmicks such as 10-minute exercise cartoons which are doomed to fail. We all, particularly children, need a healthy environment. Public Health England is simply not up to the task.
Director, Children’s Play Advisory Service
6 million middle-aged people take no exercise
23 August 2017, 11:21 pm
Public Health England’s research suggests large numbers of adults do not walk for 10 minutes at a time once a month
About 6 million middle-aged people in England are endangering their health by not taking so much as a brisk walk once a month, government advisers have said.
Clinicians said such a lack of exercise increases an individual’s risk of prematurely developing serious health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and cancer.
UK families could get money off shopping bills if they hit exercise goals
22 August 2017, 10:52 am
NHS ‘healthy towns’ scheme could offer rewards such as free cinema tickets in attempt to reduc