Intergenerational community

Belong Chester offers dementia care with a distinct difference, in that it is part of an intergenerational community in which there is a 25-place nursery alongside independent living apartments, day care and 24 hour support “households”. “There’s a real sense of community in Belong villages and the impact of the Chester nursery is just incredible,” … Read more

Wishing Washing Line

Alive is a Bristol-based charity working creatively in care settings to develop person-centred activities and CEO Isobel Jones described the Wishing Washing Line project as an example. “It supports older people to fulfil their dreams, big or small,” she told UKDC.  “The dream of one 104-year-old lady was to be arrested, so we arranged for … Read more

Gardens – a mirror to care culture

There is a direct correlation between person-centred care and the use of a care home’s garden, according to garden designer Debbie Carroll from Step Change Design. “Fearful attitudes to risk effectively cap the use of outside spaces in care homes, while advanced care culture practices and truly active engagement outside go hand in hand,” she … Read more

Award-winning Hear Well project

Hearing loss has been identified as a major modifiable risk factor for dementia with a Lancet study suggesting that 8% of dementia cases could be prevented with proper hearing loss management. Care UK’s Hear Well project aimed to find out whether residents with hearing problems, who account for 20.4% of all those living in the … Read more

Sleep problems and solutions

Sleep is a significant problem for people with Lewy body dementia – 40% of people with Alzheimer’s have sleep problems, compared with 90% of those with Lewy body dementia.  So said Rachel Thompson, who presented with her colleague Rachael Webb, both Admiral Nurses specialising in the Lewy body variant of the condition. Changes in the … Read more

Prescribing non-pharmacological interventions

The power of non-pharmacological interventions to improve wellbeing was illustrated by a project to find out the causes of distressed behaviours and respond accordingly.  Clinical psychologist Joanna Marshall and OT Susannah Thwaites spoke about their project to prescribe music, robotic pets and sensory items instead of anti-psychotic medications. Marshall and Thwaites are part of the … Read more

Staff development and culture change

Care providers contributing to a session on staff development said that culture change was essential for training to make a difference. Lynne Phair, who has advised East Midlands care home group Milford Care, said introducing the Montessori Way in dementia care had “transformed the culture” of the organisation. “We agreed that all staff needed to … Read more

Work with local communities

Former Department of Health (DH) civil servant Ruth Eley – now chair of the carer involvement group tide (Together in Dementia Everyday) – gave short shrift to the government’s proposed Major Conditions Strategy (MCS), a combined strategy for dementia and five other conditions including cancer and heart disease. While at the DH Eley had a … Read more

Reconsidering Dementia books launched

Open University Press’s “Reconsidering Dementia” series continues to grow with four new books in the pipeline to add to the five books already published.  Books forthcoming next year include Talking with Dementia Reconsidered, by Keith Oliver, Reinhard Guss and Ruth Bartlett, Living with Dementia Reconsidered (IDEAL Project), edited by Linda Clare and colleagues, and Reconsidering … Read more

Research priorities

Research programmes have tended to focus on finding a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s, but how can we channel more funding into research to improve care and quality of life? Susan Mitchell, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said her charity was committed to finding more treatments but that it was important to avoid “unintended … Read more