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.


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.

Physical activity engagement strategies in people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia

Veronika van der Wardt et al. | Physical activity engagement strategies in people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia – a focus group study | Aging & Mental Health | Published online: 07 Apr 2019

Objective: This focus group study aimed to explore how to motivate people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia and their carers to engage in exercise and physical activity.

Methods: Four focus groups were conducted with six people with MCI or dementia, three carers and four clinicians (nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapists). A thematic analysis of the data was undertaken.

Results: Five main themes were identified: ‘memory problems’, ‘self-motivation’, ‘external motivation’, ‘design of activities’ and ‘barriers’. Participants viewed exercise positively but emphasised that it needed to fit into their daily routine. Goal-setting was seen as helpful by some participants but others saw this as a source of potential failure. Enjoyment was seen as key to engagement.

Conclusion: Exercise and physical activity interventions need an individualised approach to engage people with MCI or dementia, with a positive emphasis on enjoyment. Goal-setting should be used with caution in this group of people.

Full document available at Aging & Mental Health


[NICE Guideline] Delirium: prevention, diagnosis and management Clinical guideline [CG103]

NICE | March 2019 | Delirium: prevention, diagnosis and management Clinical guideline [CG103]

NICE has updated this clinical guideline, the guideline covers diagnosing and treating delirium in people aged 18 and over in hospital and in long-term residential care or a nursing home. It also covers identifying people at risk of developing delirium in these settings and preventing onset. It aims to improve diagnosis of delirium and reduce hospital stays and complications.

In March 2019 NICE removed the use of olanzapine for the treatment of delirium in people who are distressed or considered a risk to themselves or others.

Full details from NICE