Resources (SO21)

Dementia Carers Count, the national dementia charity for family carers, has partnered with the Joy Club, which is offering retired or semi-retired carers free premium membership as part of the deal. The Joy Club is an online activity club that provides inspiration for a happy retirement. Members can find out about trying something new, meet like-minded people and discover new interests, as well as take advantage of special offers and discounts. Family carers who are interested should email

National Day of Arts in Care Homes takes place on 24 September and creative ideas outfit Medley has produced a set of activity ideas for residents on the day. There will be two arts and crafts ideas to try, complete with images and instructions, along with some suggestions for well known songs or music and ways to connect with nature, all inspired by NAPA’s “Year of Moving and Grooving” theme for 2021. The ideas, which are free of charge, will be sent out by email on 22 September. Just email

Creative Ideas

Painchek is an electronic observational tool for the assessment of pain in individuals who are unable to verbalise their pain, such as those living with moderate to severe dementia. It comprises 42 items, can be installed on a smartphone and online training is available. A new study by Babicova and colleagues sought to further validate the tool with people living with dementia in a UK care home.  In 302 paired assessments using PainChek and the Abbey Pain Scale (APS), the tool was found to be a valid and reliable instrument to assess the presence and severity of pain in people with moderate-to-severe dementia.

BMC Geriatrics (2021) vol 21 page 337.

Chartered psychologist Dr Kellyn Lee has developed what she describes as a new approach to dementia care for people living in care homes. Called Material Citizenship the approach puts choice and control for residents centre stage by focusing on access to and use of everyday functional objects. The training course for care home staff highlights the importance of these objects to individual identity. Lee has created two short videos – one for staff and one for families – explaining her approach. (search “Material Citizenship for Dementia Care”)

Department for Health and Social Care resources to support care home visiting during Covid-19 are available on the Skills for Care website, including a Q&A, a letter from the care minister, a template letter for care home managers to give to visitors, and a face covering poster.

Air quality compliance specialists Euro Environmental have found that Genano air purification units significantly contribute to good levels of indoor air quality, the UK distributor has said. Euro Environmental director Chris Senior said Genano devices were “among the best” in air purification technology. The UK supplier of the units is KSG Health.

National charity Carers UK has teamed up with not-for-profit campaign Smart Energy to provide information to unpaid family carers on how they can upgrade to smart meters as an easier way to manage energy bills. Carers UK says that smart meters for gas and electricity are designed to help consumers take control and manage energy use at home. Madeleine Starr said the technology would make managing bills “less stressful” for hard-pressed carers.

Quality Compliance Systems and care home group Cinnamon Care Collection have teamed up to produce a Food Safety Manual for care home caterers. The creators say that the partnership aimed at a practical, user-friendly toolkit for catering staff offering easy-to-use compliance tools to record, log and evidence industry guidance and best practice on food safety and hygiene. They added that the manual meets Food Standards Agency regulations and Care Quality Commission requirements. “We look forward to making the toolkit universally available so that every care provider in the UK can benefit from it,” said QCS customer and policy lead Leah Cooke.

Health and social care staff are often working in stressful circumstances, so a new smartphone app from Focus Games is designed to help. The Working Stress app provides support to manage work-related stress by offering information about stress, grief and burnout, and their psychological and physical impact, and presenting evidence-based coping strategies. It contains three short modules taking approximately 15 minutes to complete: understanding stress and burnout; managing stress and burnout; and dealing with patients’ death. The app is free at Apple Store and Google Play.

Updated guidance for health and social care providers on meeting the duty of candour has been published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The update explains in more detail what is defined as a notifiable safety incident under the duty and gives examples. The duty of candour under regulation 20 was introduced in 2014 after concerns about lack of transparency were raised during the investigations into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. “The duty of candour is a crucial part of a positive, open and safe culture,” said CQC chief inspector of hospitals Ted Baker.