NHS Employers are supporting Dementia Awareness Week and have published new resources and thought pieces aimed at employers and employees with caring responsibilities. These guides and real life experiences aim to help employees to continue in their role within the NHS and support a clear commitment to providing an inclusive workforce. The week is coordinated by the Alzheimer’s Society, and aims to raise awareness and understanding of dementia, offering support and services to those living with dementia.
Older Carers: Under-Recognised and Under-Supported
There are 1.2 million carers over 65 in the UK, a number which has risen by 25% during the past decade, according to Age UK and Carers UK. Care provided by older carers is estimated to be worth £15 billion a year.
It warned that despite the growth in numbers, few of the older carers were being offered support by the state. Last year just over 175,000 were given assessments by their local councils.
One in three carers aged 65 to 74 provide over 50 hours of care a week, but for the over 85s group that rises to more than half.
More than half of the younger age group said they were not in good health, compared to 40% of those who do not have caring responsibilities.
More reading: BBC News
Language Guidelines on Dementia Terminology: the Hidden Influence and Power of Words (Alzheimer’s Australia / Australian Journal of Dementia Care / JRF) via | Dementia and Elderly Care News.
Suggested language guidelines have been produced in Australia, to encourage a more inclusive and non-stigmatising use of words when talking and writing about dementia. This guidance will be particularly of interest for health professionals, service providers and others working in the field when talking to / about people diagnosed with dementia (and their families / carers). It may also, in the broader context of social change towards the development of more dementia-friendly communities and dementia-friendly discourse generally, influence researchers, writers and commentators in the media.
Dementia language guidelines. Australia: Alzheimer’s Australia, September 30th 2014.
Other dementia-friendly resources, possibly also of interest, from Alzheimer’s Australia:
Businesses urged to support 42,000 people with dementia who are still of working age
One in five (20 per cent) people living with dementia are under the age of retirement and could be making a valuable contribution to businesses. With the UK statutory retirement age rising, and the number of people with dementia expected to increase to one million by 2021, many more people will develop dementia while still in employment.
The guide, ‘Creating a dementia-friendly workplace: A practical guide for employers’, sets out the best practice for businesses. Employers can expect to see a range of benefits including: staff retention; development of empowering and inclusive policies and cultures in the workplace; and importantly ensure employers are fulfilling their legal responsibilities outlined in the Equality Act 2010.
Care UK has published a new guide Good to Go: a guide to dementia friendly days out. It is aimed at transforming the experiences of those caring for loved ones living with dementia and provides information to overcoming the challenges of getting out and about. This book shows how important it is for those living with dementia – and their carers – to get out and about; it explains how to plan trips and how to make the most out of every outing.
This study examined the likely cost-effectiveness of a one-off screening test for dementia for people aged 75 years in England and Wales. A computer model was used to estimate costs based on data from systematic reviews and research. The researchers estimated that about 3,514 people may be diagnosed as a result of screening, 2,152 of whom may not otherwise receive a diagnosis. The societal economic impact was between 3.6 million pounds in net costs and 4.7 million pounds net savings, depending on assumptions. This means that screening could be cost-effective but only if treatments and social care interventions become more effective.
Dixon J, Ferdinand M, D’Amico F, Knapp M. Exploring the cost-effectiveness of a one-off screen for dementia (for people aged 75 years in England and Wales). International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2015 Apr;30(5):446-452
Dementia assessment and referral data collection – February 2015