Dragons keen on care homes idea

At BBC TV show Dragons Den, a deal of  £100,000 been done among Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and an entrepreneur who designed a reminiscence tool for people with dementia. Richard Ernest secured the deal by giving away 45 per cent of his business to the two dragons.

Reminiscence rooms are becoming increasingly popular in care homes as they have found that dementia patients often feel more safe and secure when they are remembering their past and it can trigger memories of happier times improving behaviour and well-being and reducing the need for anti-psychotic drugs. These reminiscence pods work in the same way but can be packed away.

Dragons keen on care homes idea

Deborah Meaden says she decided to invest because Mr Ernest “came over as credible, passionate and clear and with the ‘Person’ box ticked I concentrated on questions around the product and the market. I was au fait with some great work done by the Design Council on the effect of surroundings on people with Alzheimer’s so I already understood the positive effect the RemPods could have.

“I could also see the clear routes to market and what we need to do. It wasn’t long before my fingers were going and I knew I would make an offer. In the end Richard accepted a combined offer from Peter and myself.”

Fellow Dragon Peter Jones also backed the concept because “dementia and Alzheimer’s are growing problems for the UK and I’m delighted to be involved in a business that offers assistance to the patients suffering from these terrible diseases and the carers who have the responsibility of looking after them. Deborah and I were very impressed with Richard who we believe has the potential to build a successful business with a social conscience.”

Call for better internet access in UK care homes

Elderly people are increasingly being ‘excluded from modern society’ because care homes are failing to offer access to the internet, care home bosses should do more to get residents online to ensure they feel ‘fully included’ in society.

Only around one in six of the 20,000 care homes in the UK provides internet access to residents, according to research by carehome.co.uk, a recommendations website. It comes despite evidence that using sites ranging from Facebook to online shopping resources is can actively reduce isolation and improve people’s quality of life. Records compiled by the site from most care homes in the country suggest that only around 3,400 out of 20,000 provide internet access to residents, or 17 per cent.

care-home-ipad, Call for better internet access in UK care homes

Baroness Greengross, chief executive of the International Longevity Centre, said: “This is an area that really needs to be addressed to ensure that care home residents are fully included in today’s society. Technology can stimulate creativity and trigger reminiscence. It is so important for the intellectual and emotional well-being of older people enabling them to connect through friends and family by email, Facebook and Skype. I would urge all care homes to have ICT as an integral part of their homes as it is a vital part of residential care.”

Phil Benson, deputy manager of EachStep Blackley, a specialist care home for dementia sufferers in Manchester, added: ““If there is no ICT in a care home, residents are being excluded from modern society. Many of our residents will have had touch-screen tablets and mobile phones before they come into the care home.”

Davina Ludlow, director of the website, said: “ICT should be an integral part of life in a care home. The internet can be crucial in giving older people and people living with disabilities back their independence and stop them feeling so isolated. They can shop online, order books and DVDs, chat to family and friends using Skype, and can look at photos on Facebook.”

 

NHS MOT health checks are useless

The Government’s £300 million-a-year screening programme does not benefit patients and in fact puts them at risk of unnecessary treatment, worldwide trials involving 180,000 people showed.

NHS MOT health checks are useless

The checks – adopted by the NHS in 2009 and intended to move the service toward preventative medicine – is likely to lead to patients taking unnecessary medication and is in “direct conflict” with the best evidence available, researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre claim.

They have questioned the validity of the so called “MOT testing” in the past and findings from the same centre led to an NHS review of routine breast screening which concluded for every life saved four women undergo unnecessary surgery.

Under the scheme, those aged between 40 and 74 are invited to their GP once every five years to have their blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels checked, before being given tailored lifestyle advice.

It means two million checks should be carried out annually in England and Wales, but figures show that only 1.3 million underwent the tests over the last year.

care-home-dentist, GPs now do health checks on a daily basis, Dr Gerada said, and although they are being sold as “like going for an MOT” where doctors are able to diagnose the problem, doctors can’t actually find out what is wrong. “You always find something that you can’t explain and then you do more tests,” she said. “We’re constantly having to explain to patients that actually there’s nothing wrong.” Public Health England recognises that the effectiveness of the scheme has been questioned, but maintained that the “precautionary principle” to risk factors for disease justifies the tests. They say the tests offer a “real opportunity to reduce avoidable deaths and disability, and tackle health inequalities in England.”GPs now do health checks on a daily basis, Dr Gerada said, and although they are being sold as “like going for an MOT” where doctors are able to diagnose the problem, doctors can’t actually find out what is wrong.

“You always find something that you can’t explain and then you do more tests,” she said. “We’re constantly having to explain to patients that actually there’s nothing wrong.”

Public Health England recognises that the effectiveness of the scheme has been questioned, but maintained that the “precautionary principle” to risk factors for disease justifies the tests. They say the tests offer a “real opportunity to reduce avoidable deaths and disability, and tackle health inequalities in England.”

Spinach and Guinness could reduce the risk of dementia

care-home-guinness-Spinach and Guinness could reduce the risk of dementia

Academics at the University of California San Francisco conducted a study on dementia, and  has found that people with anaemia which is a condition caused by a deficiency of iron in the blood, may be at an increased risk of developing the condition. The research revealed a link between the two conditions.

In the research, more than 2,500 adults between the ages of 70 and 79 who did not have dementia have participated. All participants were tested for iron deficiency with 15 per cent of volunteers found to be anaemic. The group was monitored over a period of 11 years and at the end of the study, researchers found that 23 per cent of people with anaemia developed dementia compared to 17 per cent of those without it.

Researchers at the University of California have suggested several explanations for the findings, including the possibility that less oxygen reaches the brain as a result of lower blood oxygen levels caused by anaemia, and that this could cause nerve cells to deteriorate.

‘This large study adds to previous observations of a link between anaemia and a higher dementia risk, but it is hard to say with any certainty that anaemia is a casual factor in the condition. There could be other reasons for this observation, and it will be important to investigate the possible reasons for this link in more detail.’ Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK adds.

He also suggested, the best way to reduce your risk of dementia is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy a balanced Mediterranean diet rich in fruit and vegetables, oily fish and even the occasional glass of red wine, take regular exercise and don’t smoke.

Small Care Homes are just as popular

The poll of small care home providers, each with a minimum of 15 residents in each home and no more than five homes in any group, revealed 98 per cent of residents said staff were helpful and friendly and 95 per cent think their room is good.

Small Care Homes are just as popular

A total of 93 per cent of care home residents are generally or definitely happy with the activities available to them and 83 per cent are generally or definitely pleased with the outside and community activities.

The research was carried out by specialists in healthcare research, Howard Warwick Associates, and over 1,000 residents from 43 independent care home groups took part in the survey.

Pensioners to be exempt from benefits cut? Young people: YES!

A survey has found that both pensioners and the wider general public feel that over 65s should not be exempt from benefit cuts.

Opposing this view was the youngest age group asked, with 52 per cent of 18-24 year- olds feeling that pensioners should be protected from cuts.

In a survey commissioned by The Independent and carried out by ComRes, it has been found that the majority of pensioners do not feel they should be exempt from feeling the impact of the Government’s spending cuts on benefit perks such as the winter fuel allowance.

Young people denounce benefit cut for pensioners

The poll suggests that most 65 year olds have accepted that benefits for older people might need to see cuts and are prepared for this possible occurrence in the future.

By comparison, the strongest support for protecting pensioners was among young people aged 18 to 24.

Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, said: “The winter fuel allowance has already been cut, pension increases have been reduced, bus routes and services have been withdrawn and social-care services are collapsing all over the country.”

Family had NO idea about mum’s death at a care home

Family had NO idea about mum’s death at a care home

A failing nursing home did not inform the family of an 84-year-old resident that she had died and her body had been cremated.

Distraught son Stephen Jukes, 56, returned from a trip to Bulgaria, where he was building a house, to discover staff at Landmere Nursing Home, Wilford, had not told him his mother was dead. He said: “I phoned up to say I would be visiting her on the Sunday and the person on the phone just said ‘she’s dead’. That’s how I found out.”

The home is in the process of closing down after a damning report from inspectors working for the Care Quality Commission, and Nottingham County Council has terminated its contract with home.

One jaw-dropping development in care homes in UK

Care homes are being urged to get their residents on-line!

3,400 out of 20,000 care homes in the UK give residents access to the internet.

iPads are easier for older people to use, Alive! Charity is raising funds to buy iPads for care home residents.

It can engage with the newest technology in order to stimulate their creativity and aid reminiscence. Care home staff could be using technology much more creatively such as Skype consultations with doctors to avoid trips to hospitals.

Care home residents using an iPad