Top 10 Films with Heroes Who are Over 60 Years Old

 

It happens to all of us. It’s as certain as taxes and the tacky antics of reality television ‘stars.’  We will all die one day. Now flashback as far as you can…five years, a decade, two or more and see how much has changed. Do you like the same music? Do you support the same political party? Are you with someone you love, or have you lost your ability to simply feel said emotion. Time takes its toll, and in the end, what we don’t learn from its passage predicts our inability to deal with what’s ahead. Here is the list of top 10 films about Old People:

care-homes-films

10        Gran Torino

9          The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

8          Harry and Tonto

7          Tokyo Story

6          Tatie Danielle

5          Strangers in Good Company

4          The Straight Story

3          Up

2          Away from Her

1          The Up Series

Pesticides exposure linked to Alzheimer’s disease

 

old people pesicide

A study was published in JAMA Neurology revealed that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have significantly higher levels of DDE, the long-lasting metabolite of the pesticide DDT, in their blood than healthy people.

In a case-control study involving 86 Alzheimer’s patients and 79 healthy elderly controls, researchers found that DDE levels were almost four times higher in serum samples from Alzheimer’s patients than in controls. Having DDE levels in the highest third of the range in the study increased someone’s risk of Alzheimer’s by a factor of four.

This is one of the first studies identifying a strong environmental risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. The magnitude of the effect is strikingly large,  it is comparable in size to the most common genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s.

This free test can spot early signs of dementia

dementia test

This test can be completed online or by hand which tests language ability, reasoning, problem solving skills and memory. Results can then be shared with doctors to help spot early symptoms of cognitive issues such as early dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Around 800,000 people in Britain are currently suffering from dementia in Britain with more than a million expected by 2021.

Currently Alzheimer’s is only diagnosed through in depth cognitive testing, but researchers said the simple test worked equally well.

The research was published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.

Communication and compassion drives care industry forward

What do you enjoy the most about working in care industry?

The world of healthcare and working in this industry offers many people rewards and benefits.

There is never a dull moment and it is rare to experience the same day twice.
Quite often people will ask what do you do for a living and when I tell them that I look after the elderly and specialise in those who have Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia. Often I get the reply “oh I admire what you do, I couldn’t do that you must have a lot of patience”. I know lots of healthcare professionals out there get the same reaction I’ve heard it a lot after almost 10 years in the profession. Sometimes it even makes me smile because yes there are a lot of people who could not do the job, you have to be a special kind of person.
For me I am passionate about every person having the care that they want and deserve. It didn’t take me long to work out in this profession that there are a lot of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia who don’t get listened to properly. I expect carers to listen and take their time wherever possible especially when they are looking after a person with Alzheimer’s.

 

What are the most important qualities a care home professional should have?

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I believe that great health care professionals should have excellent communication skills that include being able to listen and speak clearly to residents and their families. They should be able to feel compassion and provide comfort and overall have empathy for the person they are caring for.
Health care can be stressful, long shifts and quite often the professional may encounter many traumatic situations. They need to be able to work without allowing the stress to cause them personal harm. Great health care professional always respect people and rules they should always be mindful of their employers confidentiality policies and respect the different cultures and traditions.

 

What is your personal motivation to work in the care home industry?

Caring is an active engagement in the total well-being of the person – putting the person’s needs at the centre of everything you do for them. This includes promoting, preserving and encouraging their capabilities and interests.

care-home-Christine ElsleyTo achieve this we need to share experiences with our colleagues and provide additional information for those staff that have an interest and enthusiasm for person-centred care. People understand better when they relate key ideas to their own life and for many they learn while they are doing.

I feel very privileged to be able to work with many individuals who share their lives with people on a daily basis and go that extra mile to help others.

 

Christine Elsley is a lead practitioner in Dementia Care and has a degree in Dementia studies. Most of all, she is passionate about people with dementia being looked after with dignity.

Peanut butter, a quick test for Alzheimer’s

You may not have heard of ‘the peanut butter test’, but it could become a fantastically low-cost and non-invasive way to test for Alzheimer’s. After all, what’s less invasive than asking someone to smell some delicious peanut butter? ‘The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline,’  according to a report from the University of Florida, researchers from which conducted the experiment.  But with Alzheimer’s patients, the sense of smell is affected in a very particular way: The left nostril is significantly more impaired than the right. Weird! But true.care-home-peanut-butter

The experiment involved capping one nostril and measuring the distance at which the patient could detect about a tablespoon of peanut butter. In Alzheimer’s patients, the left nostril was impaired so thoroughly that, on average, it had 10 centimeters less range than the right, in terms of odor detection. That’s specific to Alzheimer’s patients; neither control patients (those not suffering from cognitive decline) nor those with other types of cognitive impairment (like dementia) demonstrated that nostril difference.

Peanut butter was used because it’s a so-called ‘pure odorant’. Generally our sense of smell actually incorporates two distinct sensations: the olfactory sense, or smell, as well as a trigeminal sense, which is like a more physical burning or stinging sort of sense. Peanut butter has no trigeminal element; it’s only olfactory, which makes it ideal for testing, as the link to Alzheimer’s is specifically dealing with the olfactory sense.

This could be a great, inexpensive, early warning system for those with Alzheimer’s; the illness is not easy to detect, requiring neurological examination as well as mental, and has to be carried out by a professional. The peanut butter test? Much easier.

 

Alzheimer’s cure is near

The discovery of the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in a neuro-degenerative disease has been hailed as the ‘turning point’ in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. More work is needed to develop a drug that could be taken by patients. But scientists say a resulting medicine could treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other diseases.care-home-tea

Medical professor from University of London expresses that the finding is a turning point in medical history to control and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Many other experts in the field also deem it as a landmark study.

When a virus hijacks a brain cell it leads to a build-up of viral proteins. Cell responds by shutting down nearly all protein production in order to halt the virus’s spread. However, many neurodegenerative diseases involve the production of faulty or misfolded proteins. These activate the same defences, but with more severe consequences.

The director of research at the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK stresses that targeting a mechanism relevant to a number of neurodegenerative diseases could yield a single drug with wide-reaching benefits, but this compound is till at an early stage.

Caroline urges for more resident-centred care homes

What are the most important qualities a care home professional should have?

The answers are all in the title really.

Firstly, they need to care.  They need to care about all of the people they work with, both colleagues and residents. They should be compassionate and attentive. Care home professionals need to find out about each other and those they care for as individuals.  Everyone needs to ensure they know what is meant by ‘person-centred care’.  It’s about everyone in that environment. They need to be egalitarian and treat other people, fairly, with respect and kindness.  Anyone working with other people needs to be in touch with their own feelings, to be able to empathise with others and have good listening skills. They are not looking after relics in a museum they are caring for and working with some very special people.

Secondly, the place they work in is a ‘home’ not just a work-place. People who work in care homes should emanate a sense of intimate security to add to the atmosphere of being at home.  In just the same way as they run their own homes they need to be flexible in their organisation of meals etc. to allow for personal choices and requirements. Staff need to bring a feeling of domesticity in to the building, where everyone is involved in helping to get the ‘jobs’ done.  Maintaining the opportunities for meaningful occupation.  A care home should not feel like a hospital or a hotel.

Care home professionals should be professional and by that I mean that they should respect their own profession.  They should be keen learners that are motivated to keep up to date with information available, on research and models of care etc.  We need reflective practitioners who are not afraid to admit that they have made mistakes; that they are still learning, along with the rest of us. We need people who are resourceful, open to new innovations and ready to change their models of care for the benefit of those using their services. Changes cannot happen if they are treated like a ‘quick fix’. It takes time to ensure that the desired outcomes are recognised and worked towards as a long term goal.  It takes a team of professional people who recognise the strengths and weaknesses of each member and encourages each person to take part in achieving those outcomes.

We are asking for a lot from care home professionals, we need to recognise this and ensure that we are giving back what they deserve.  Allowing care staff to work set hours, so that they can plan their home lives accordingly, and allowing them to be salaried would be a good start.

 

What are some of the areas that the care home industry can improve?

My work takes me into a variety of care home settings and the ones that strike me as getting it right are those where they work as a team.  I’m talking about housekeepers, gardeners, activity co-ordinators, kitchen staff, management, office workers, everybody working together to give the best service they can.  These are the places where I can recognise true person-centred care, where everyone matters.

To enable all of the staff to give of their best, there is a real need for training. The government are making headway through Dementia Friends to ensure that the general public dementia aware.  This puts the onus on our profession to ensure that all staff are trained beyond the stage of ‘dementia aware’.  It is beneficial for the care home to have staff fully trained in Cognitive Stimulation and confident in the appropriate usage of Reality Orientation and Reminiscence Therapy.

Care home managers triumph when they invite staff, visitors and residents to look at the home with new eyes, encouraging feedback on any improvements that can be made to the environment.  Looking for ways of enabling residents to remain independent for longer or items which will stimulate feelings or conversations.  It’s wonderful to see these ideas in practice in some of the homes I have visited.   This is where staff can be at their most resourceful, lots of these ideas are cheap and cheerful.  The environment can benefit dramatically when we implement small changes which will enhance the quality of life for those living and working in the home.

 

What is the key issue facing the care home industry in this country?

I know I’m going to leave myself wide open to an onslaught of disagreements here.  I know so many people will say it is a lack of funding.  Whilst I acknowledge that this is a factor, I honestly think the key issue in this country is the number of care home owners and managers who truly believe they are doing a good job when the simple truth of the matter is that they are not delivering person-centred care in the true sense.

There are, of course, lots of owners and managers in the industry who are doing a fabulous job, but, if you asked them what they would do to improve their care homes, they wouldn’t look at you ‘gob-smacked’ and tell you that they believe they have one of the best in the area.  They are the people who will immediately give you a list of goals they would like to incorporate in to their homes and also tell you what research they would like to know more about.

Sadly, there are still too many who have been doing the job for a long time and haven’t learnt anything new in the process, they are still constantly playing music from the 1930s – 1940s because they believe that is what their residents want to listen to. They haven’t asked the residents. They fail to explore the possibility of someone liking Cliff Richard, Barbara Streisand, The Isley Brothers, or, heaven forbid, Abba,  (dare I even mention Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin or London Grammar)and yet there are many people living in care homes today who’s popular music tastes don’t include ‘Roll out the barrel’.  Personal tastes in music are as varied as the different genres available.

So many managers just want to ‘tick the box’ for training their employees in dementia care.  They only want the very basic awareness course, they’re not interested in courses about ‘Activities’ because they already do bingo twice a week and they have someone in once a fortnight to run armchair exercises. (Oh, and once a month a man comes in and sings to them).  They don’t have art materials, or poetry books, a video player in the lounge, or pens to do the crosswords in the paper. There are no dolls to be seen, or pets in the home.  In fact there is very little of any interest in the rooms at all.  The managers will ask ‘Do you do a course for behaviour problems, or how to restrain difficult residents?’  They don’t appreciate that improved environments will reduce these problems drastically, allowing them to concentrate on the niche requirements of individuals (perhaps something as simple as a doll or teddy bear to cuddle, or someone to talk to for a while at certain times of the day). They have very little understanding of how individuals with dementia can be helped to make sense of what is going on around them.

Activity Co-ordinators are crying out for training which is relevant to their role, their managers however, are spending the money on flower arrangements in the reception area.  They haven’t even thought about finding out if there is a lady who did the flower arranging for church each Sunday living in their home. There are too many care homes still working to timetables, with the importance placed on what the home looks like to visitors rather than models of care which have been adapted to suit the choices of their current residents.

If we wish to make any inroads into improved care for older people we need to listen to what people want for themselves in their new homes, as well as employing staff who engage with customers, people who endeavour to understand and facilitate the personal needs of those living with dementia.

care-home-caroline-benham

 

Caroline Benham has extensive experience in the care home industry, worked for Anchor in the past and currently a volunteer for Alzheimer’s. She is currently studying towards a degree on Dementia Studies while working as a dementia care trainer.

 

Whiff-whaff sweeps care homes

Active senior woman-Whiff-whaff sweeps care homesFollowing the film Ping Pong, a documentary about eight over-80 world table tennis champions at the over 80′s World Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia; over 1,200 care homes in the UK have received the ping pong pack and their residents started taking up the sport.

In the film, emotions are running high and the champions show great tenacity and a determination to win, despite some of them battling against the physical ailments that tend to come with old age. Centenarian, Dorothy DeLow, from Australia, who is featured in the film, says ‘Table tennis is my life’ and for these competitors it really is. She reveals how she lost her husband and her daughter and says ‘I was playing table tennis, and I think that saved me’. Dorothy, who is the oldest competitive player in the world, left the UK on a Sydney bound boat in 1911 when she was two – around the same time table tennis is thought to have been invented. She started playing in her 70s when both her husband and her daughter died in the same year.

care-home-pingpong-Whiff-whaff sweeps care homes

Some of the care homes have set up mini tournaments. Residents say the film inspires them and makes them want to get involved in table tennis. Table tennis is good for your mental state and your physical health. You have fun and it helps people to stay fit. We want to smash the stereotypes people have about older people. So far we have distributed the ping pong packs to over 1,200 care homes. The pack is for smaller care homes that don’t have the resources of the bigger ones. We are trying to focus on regions and areas that under-serviced and we have been working with local authorities to help us identify which care homes will most benefit from receiving the free packs.

Cameron hopes to tackle dementia

 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt stated that a cure for dementia could be found within 12 year. He also urged that leading nations needed to increase the amount of cash spent fighting the disease in a bid to defeat it for good and would like a cure to be available by 2025.David Cameron promises to tackle dementia

The striking announcement came at the end of a global summit on dementia organised by David Cameron in his role chairing the G8 club of the world’s richest nations.

The PM claimed today was the day ‘the global fightback really started’. He said in the summit that this is disease steals lives, wrecks families and breaks hearts.If we are to beat dementia, we must also work globally, with nations, business and scientists from all over the world working together as we did with cancer, and with HIV and Aids. This is going to be a bigger and bigger issue, the key is to keep pushing.

In the NHS, the aim is to ensure that diagnosis rates rise from below half to more than two-thirds. Mr Hunt likened dementia to how cancer used to be. He said cancer funding for research only started pouring in once we stopped sweeping it under the carpet.

Private care homes are profit driven

Here is another recent article published online about how care home providers are commercially motivated by profit.

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Following the deaths of residents of an Edinburgh care home that police called into, providers cannot be trusted to care for our old and frail relatives, whilst scooping up the very generous Scottish Government free-care-for-the-elderly funding, to line the pockets of shareholders. They just grab the money and provide as little care as they can get away with.care-home-wheelchair-Private care homes are profit driven

I unfortunately had a relative placed in such a care home for a short time three years ago. The home had a very good Care Commission report. At our visit in advance of her moving in, we were shown the best facilities on the sunniest side of the building, where residents requiring the leastamount of care were accommodated.

My sister required the maximum of nursing and personal care for which they charged over £1200 per week. We were promised a special hospital bed and full nursing care. When she arrived she was placed in a tiny, dark room, at the back of the home, with the least sunshine.

No special bed was available, so mattresses were put on the floor to break her fall if she fell out of bed. Her room was in need of decoration, was dirty and smelly as the en-suite toilet extractor system did not work, and the toilet was being used mainly for storage. The room was the furthest away from the nursing station and on our very first visit we arrived to find that my sister was hoarse from screaming out for help, as her alarm system was not working.

Fortunately we were able to move my sister to another Edinburgh care home, the not-for-profit Viewpoint Housing Association St Raphael’s where for the last two years of her life she had the highest possible quality of care provided for the same weekly amount.

This surely is the sort of level of care that all of our relatives should be getting. But sadly there is no doubt in my mind that when the commercial, private providers get the contracts they simply revert to their usual behaviour of putting profit before care for our elderly.

Max Cruickshank, Iona Ridge, Hamilton

Religious beliefs are a load of nonsense

What nonsense from Veronica Wikman about so-called “indoctrination” at religious observance times in Scottish schools (Letters, September 17).

This is untrue and repeating the untruth does not render it any more accurate.

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick

Home for Trident . . how about London?

Much has been made, particularly by the “No” campaign about the difficulties of relocating Trident but, it seems to me, by including our friends in the equation, there are numerous possibilities.

The Westminster government could approach Ireland.

They have plenty of deep water inlets and might well be persuaded, provided the site was more than 20 miles from Dublin.

If the Irish said no, what about Norway? They have even more in the way of deep water so perhaps they might oblige if it was not too near Oslo.

Another option might be Iceland, although they may take the view that they have enough in the way of natural explosives in the shape of volcanoes.

What about New Zealand? They have a smaller population than Scotland and close ties to the “Old Country” but oops, I forgot, New Zealand, for some silly reason is non-nuclear.

However, I have carelessly omitted the most obvious choice of all . . . the Thames Estuary.

This is suitably close to England’s largest centre of population, and, as The Act of Union from 1707, Clause VI states: “All parts of the United Kingdom shall have the same Allowances, Encouragements and Drawbacks.”

This poses the question –Why has poor old London missed out on its share of Trident?

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline

care-home-expensive-Private care homes are profit drivenBig-hearted Capital folk work wonders

I AM writing to thank you and your readers for the support you’ve shown so far for British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland shops’ Great British Bag-athon.

BHF shops across the UK are aiming to raise one million bags of unwanted things throughout the month of September so we really need people in the Capital to join in, have a clear out and donate bags of unwanted things to their local BHF Scotland shop.

Taking part is easy, fill up one bag or several with unwanted clothes, shoes, handbags, books, DVDs and homewares and donate to your local BHF Scotland shop.

Every bag your readers fill makes a real difference in the fight for every heartbeat and could be worth £20 to BHF Scotland, helping to fund life-saving research in the fight against heart disease.

If you have lots of things to donate, why not take on a Bag-athon challenge and aim to raise anything from five, ten or even 15 bags for BHF Scotland shops?

You can even ask friends and family to help you reach your target – the more you bag, the more researchers the BHF can fund and the more lives they can save.

For more information on the Great British Bag-athon visit bhf.org.uk/bagathon or pop into your local shop.

Best wishes and good luck!

Pauline Davie, area manager for BHF Scotland shops, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh