Specialist nursing support for unpaid carers of people with dementia

Having contact with a nurse who understands dementia and has the time to get to know their situation could improve carers’ confidence and help them to feel supported | National Institute for Health Research | University of York

Admiral Nursing is the only nursing service that specifically focuses on supporting carers of people with dementia in the UK. Research carried out by the University of York found that Admiral Nurses are successfully targeting carers with the most complex needs

The research team, from York’s Social Policy Research Unit and Centre for Health Economics, looked at information routinely collected by Dementia UK which showed that, on average, the needs of carers with an Admiral Nurse reduced over time. However, the data were not detailed enough to show what caused this improvement. In interviews and focus groups, carers themselves said that the sorts of support provided by Admiral Nurses could positively influence their health, quality of life and confidence in caring.

The research team followed this up with a survey, completed by 346 current carers of people with dementia, which demonstrated the heavy burden that dementia carers carry, the low levels of support that they get from health and social care services and the financial impact on carers and their families when they have to pay for help.

Full report: Gridley K, et al. |Specialist nursing support for unpaid carers of people with dementia: a mixed-methods feasibility study | Health Service Delivery Research 2019;7(12).

e-Dementia e-learning programme updated

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has been working with the University of Bradford to review, add new content and update sessions within the e-Dementia e-learning Programme

e-learning-3734521_1920The programme about dementia care has been designed to enhance the training and education of the health and care workforce. It focuses on the essential knowledge and skills needed to support and enable people living with dementia and their family carers to live as well as possible, wherever they live.

e-Dementia will also be of interest to those responsible for training and educating the health and care workforce. It can be used in a variety of ways including as part of induction; to structure reflective practice with individual staff and teams; for self-paced learning; and to revisit as a form of refresher training.

As part of the e-Dementia update, 14 new sessions have been added and 12 sessions have been retired from the programme.

Full details at e-learning for Healthcare

More about the e-learning programme in Dementia Care, including how to access the programme here 

Performing daily activities with dementia

Clarissa Giebel, Sandra Zwakhalen, Caroline Louise Sutcliffe & Hilde Verbeek | Exploring the abilities of performing complex daily activities in dementia: the effects of supervision on remaining independent | Aging & Mental Health | published online 16 April 2019

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the remaining abilities of people with dementia (PwD) in performing daily activities.

Method: Informal carers of community-residing PwD were recruited across England via mail out and carer support groups. Carers completed the revised Interview for Deteriorations in Daily Living Activities in Dementia 2 to rate the PwD’s initiative and performance of daily activities. Six complex instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) were selected: shopping, preparing a hot drink, using the telephone, preparing a cold meal, house work, and engaging in social activities, all of which were broken down into three sub-tasks. Data were analysed using Chi-square tests and linear regression analysis, assessing the contributions of hours of IADL care, hours of supervision, and dementia stage for each activity.

Results: 581 carers of people with mild, moderate, and severe dementia completed the questionnaire. The ability to perform individual activities deteriorated from mild to moderate to severe dementia, with PwD remaining the most able to perform subtasks of preparing a hot drink and a cold meal. Subtask performance varied across activities, with some better maintained than others across severity stages. Linear regression models showed that hours of supervising PwD explained a greater proportion of the variance of each IADL than IADL care hours.

Conclusion: PwD should be supervised to continue engaging in activities, thereby avoiding performing everything for the PwD. Findings can have implications for PwD living in nursing homes, and future research should explore the remaining IADL abilities of nursing home residents.

 

Using a therapeutic companion robot for dementia symptoms in long-term care

Moyle, W. et al. | Using a therapeutic companion robot for dementia symptoms in long-term care: reflections from a cluster-RCT | Aging & Mental Health | Vol. 23 issue 3 | p329-336

Objectives: We undertook a cluster-randomised controlled trial exploring the effect of a therapeutic companion robot (PARO) compared to a look-alike plush toy and usual care on dementia symptoms of long-term care residents. Complementing the reported quantitative outcomes , this paper provides critical reflection and commentary on individual participant responses to PARO, observed through video recordings , with a view to informing clinical practice and research.

Method: A descriptive, qualitative design with five participants selected from the PARO intervention arm of the trial. The trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry

Results: The five participants and their responses to PARO are presented in terms of three issues: i.) Different pre-intervention clinical presentations and different responses; ii.) Same individual, different response – the need for continual assessment and review; and iii.) The ethics of giving and retrieving PARO. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed in relation to each issue.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that one approach does not fit all, and that there is considerable variation in responses to PARO. A number of recommendations are discussed to aid the delivery of psychosocial interventions with PARO in practice, as well as to guide future research.

Full detail at Aging & Mental Health

Productive healthy ageing: interventions for quality of life

A Menu of Interventions for Productive Healthy Ageing for pharmacy teams working in
different settings | Public Health England

This document lists interventions that can be made by pharmacy teams, to help older people to lead more independent lives and improve their health. The document includes interventions based around preventing falls, dementia, physical inactivity, social isolation and malnutrition.

Full document available here

 

Dementia statistics

Dementia Assessment and Referral data collection – January 2019 | NHS England, 3 April 2019

The January 2019 data for the Dementia Assessment and Referral data collection in England by NHS England were released on 3rd April 2019.  The collection’s purpose is to improve the identification of older patients with dementia and delirium, to monitor appropriate assessment and to prompt appropriate referral and follow up after they leave hospital.

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Official Statistics – Dementia profile: April 2019 data update |Public Health England

The Dementia Profile is designed to improve the availability and accessibility of information on dementia. The data are presented in an interactive tool that allows users to view and analyse them in a user-friendly format.

The profile provides a snapshot of dementia care, broken down by geographical area, to help local government and health services improve dementia care.

A statistical commentary has also been produced which provides a summary of what is new in this release.