JDC Newsletter Nov 2021

Welcome to this new monthly newsletter for subscribers to the Journal of Dementia Care. As well as full access to all the articles and regular features in each bi-monthly issue of the journal, our website will include important news from the dementia care world, updates and useful resources, all rounded up once a month in this newsletter.

But first a word about what’s changed. JDC is now owned by a new Community Benefit Society, Dementia Publishing. Its directors are Sue Benson and Dr Richard Hawkins, editor and publisher of JDC from its launch in 1993, and Barbara Stephens, Dementia Pathfinders.

As the new owners we are committed to providing you with all that is so loved and valued at JDC, plus a lot more: the journal itself of course, now in an electronic format (still ably edited by Mark Ivory), a much more extensive website, www.journalofdementiacare.co.uk, and dementia-focused newsletters and events including the UK’s largest annual event in our dementia care world, UK Dementia Congress.

What is a charitable Community Benefit Society?

A charitable Community Benefit Society is a relatively new model, whose purpose is to support a ‘community of interest’, funded by social investment (and in the case of a publication, subscriptions too). This makes it highly appropriate for JDC and the UK Dementia Congress: we are a community, built up over many years, bringing together practitioners, researchers, family carers and people with dementia themselves – everyone who cares passionately about dementia care and the vital importance of supporting all who work in the field. This support is needed now more than ever, in the current climate of intense pressure on services and staff.

To find out more about social investment (which includes a subscription) see here, or you can make a donation. You can subscribe here.

 Dementia Publishing’s advisory board

We are delighted that all members of JDC’s advisory board are keen to continue and guide us in the years ahead, and we warmly welcome new members who have given us invaluable help through the process of forming a Community Benefit Society: Hilary Woodhead (NAPA), Jude Sweeting (Dementia Pathfinders/Ladder to the Moon/Resonate Arts) and Karen Harrison-Dening (Dementia UK). See the full list of advisers in the About section of our website.

The November/December 2021 issue of the Journal of Dementia Care is available for full subscribers to read on our website and as a pdf. Articles include ‘A delicate balancing act – safety and quality of life’ by Sally Knocker, with a chat function for discussion. See the full contents here


Wage rise ‘will not solve social care crisis’

A promise in the chancellor’s Budget to raise the minimum wage to £9.50 an hour from next April will not be enough to solve the social care workforce crisis, sector leaders have warned.

The Independent Care Group, led by North Yorkshire care homes boss Mike Padgham, said the government had “ignored desperate pleas” for help from the sector, while the National Care Forum (NCF) said the Budget had been “silent” on the workforce pressures.

“The care of our oldest and most vulnerable has been ignored once again and we will all suffer the consequences,” Padgham said.  “There are a few good things in the budget – the minimum wage, help for the low paid and incentives to industry – but nothing for care.”

NCF described the Budget as a “missed opportunity” to recognise social care as a major contributor to the economy.  “The recently announced £162.5 million for recruitment and retention is a drop in the ocean of what is really needed to address the workforce challenges,” said policy director Liz Jones.

ICG also warned that the government’s “no jab, no job” policy, due to take effect on 11 November, was “set to rob social care of 40,000 staff”.

Care group pledges to pay real living wage

An East Midlands specialist dementia care group has pledged to increase minimum staff pay in line with the “real living wage”, going beyond the rise to £9.50 an hour announced in the October Budget. 

Church Farm Care, which has four care homes in Nottinghamshire, said that as a Real Living Wage Foundation employer, staff in all age groups would be paid above the minimum levels set by government.

“Their hard work and dedication in the face of a global pandemic has shown just how invaluable those in the care sector truly are, and they deserve to be recognised for that,” said the group’s director, Patrick Atkinson.  The new real living wage rates will be announced on 15 November and will be implemented before April.


HUGs now widely available 

The HUG, brainchild of the Cardiff Metropolitan University’s LAUGH team is now available to buy on the ‘HUG by LAUGH’ website and Alzheimer’s Society’s online shop for £125. Research has shown it can increase wellbeing: its weighted limbs, soft body and simulated beating heart help mimic a human hug, and it has now been fitted with a music player. Key stakeholders, including the Alzheimer’s Society, the Welsh Government, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), have funded the research and development of the therapeutic device. 

ADI 2022: in London and online

“Super early bird” registration is now open for the 35th Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, held both face-to-face in London and online.  Under the theme “New horizons in dementia: Building on hope” the conference takes place on 8-10 June 2022 and is a chance to hear about the latest in research, practice and policy.  The super early bird rate is available until 10 December, costing £350 for in-person attendance and £150 for online attendance.  Further discounted rates are available for people with dementia. www.adiconference.org

New grants for end of life care research

End of life care charity Marie Curie has launched a new grant scheme offering £750,000 for new research projects.  Projects will be expected to address one of a range of themes, including quality care and support for people affected by dying, death and bereavement.  The charity expects pressure on primary health and social care to grow this winter, with half a million people predicted to need palliative care.  “Recent research has predicted that demand for community palliative and end of life care services will continue to increase in the coming years,” said head of research Dr Sabine Best.

Survey on support for in Extra Care Housing

Shedding light on how best to support people with dementia in Extra Care Housing is a new survey by the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS).  In a research project funded by the NIHR School for Social Care Research, two surveys will canvass the opinions of family carers and of people with dementia themselves about the value of Extra Care as a model of housing that enables independent living in self-contained accommodation.  The deadline for completing the two surveys is 12 November.  Family carers survey complete here and survey for people with dementia complete here

Fur therapy on World Animal Day: All the sounds of the farmyard came to Great Oaks care home in Bournemouth on World Animal Day.  Among the visitors providing therapeutic activity for residents were a pony, goats, sheep and this rabbit, pictured with resident Marilyn Atwill.  “Our residents often tell us how much they love animals so we thought this would be the perfect way to mark the day,” said wellbeing manager Erin Butcher.

CQC spells out the pandemic’s full impact

In its latest report on The state of health care and adult social care in England (2020/21), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) spells out the full impact of the pandemic on older people and family carers.

Fears over safety and restrictions on visiting may have led families to refrain from sending relatives to care homes or taking up home care, the report says, intensifying the strain on carers.  One estimate suggests that an additional 4.5 million people had become unpaid carers since the start of the pandemic.

The CQC pointed to figures showing the toll on the health and wellbeing of older people, with as many as 22% of all older people finding it harder to remember things and 25% living with more physical pain.  Well over a third (36%) of older people told Age UK that they felt more anxious.

Almost 75,000 older and younger disabled people were waiting for care and support assessments, figures from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services indicated, and social care was “struggling to cope with people’s needs arising from the pandemic,” the CQC added. Increased stability in social care and collaboration across health and care was key to mitigating the risk of a “tsunami of unmet need,” it said. “If the new government funding [worth £5.4 billion over three years] is to have an impact, it needs to be used to do things differently and to develop genuinely collaborative ways of working across all care settings,” commented CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm.  For full report, go to www.cqc.org.uk

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