Dementia, ‘sectioning’ and The Mental Health Act 1983

Alzheimer’s Society podcast October 2015

This Alzheimer’s Society podcast looks at what is known as ‘sectioning’, or the process that happens when health professionals think that a person with dementia is behaving in a way that places their health at risk or is a danger to themselves or others – they can be detained in hospital under section 2 of the Mental Health Act so that they can be assessed. This process is often known as ‘sectioning’ or ‘being sectioned’ and is often a challenging time for the person with dementia and their families. As the term sectioning often has negative connotations in this podcast we will be referring to the process of placing someone under a section of the Mental Health Act.

In this edition of the podcast Hannah speaks to Helpline Adviser Emma about the Mental Health Act, guardianship and after-care services.

via Dementia, ‘sectioning’ and The Mental Health Act 1983 – Alzheimer’s Society podcast October 2015 – YouTube.

Strategies to support engagement and continuity of activity during mealtimes for families living with dementia; a qualitative study

BMC Geriatrics 2015, 15:119

Mealtimes are an essential part of living and quality of life for everyone, including persons living with dementia. A longitudinal qualitative study provided understanding of the meaning of mealtimes for persons with dementia and their family care partners. Strategies were specifically described by families to support meaningful mealtimes. The purpose of this manuscript is to describe the strategies devised and used by these families living with dementia.

A longitudinal qualitative study was undertaken to explore the meaning and experience of mealtimes for families living with dementia over a three-year period. 27 families [older person with dementia and at least one family care partner] were originally recruited from the community of South-Western Ontario. Individual and dyad interviews were conducted each year. Digitally recorded transcripts were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. Strategies were identified and categorized.

Strategies to support quality mealtimes were devised by families as they adapted to their evolving lives. General strategies such as living in the moment, as well as strategies specific to maintaining social engagement and continuity of mealtime activities were reported.

In addition to nutritional benefit, family mealtimes provide important opportunities for persons with dementia and their family care partners to socially engage and continue meaningful roles. Strategies identified by participants provide a basis for further education and support to families living with dementia.

via BMC Geriatrics | Full text | Strategies to support engagement and continuity of activity during mealtimes for families living with dementia; a qualitative study.

Psychological treatments for depression and anxiety in dementia and mild cognitive impairment: systematic review and meta-analysis

The British Journal of Psychiatry Oct 2015, 207 (4) 293-298


Anxiety and depression are common in people with dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), but there is uncertainty about the effectiveness of both pharmacological and psychological therapies.


To evaluate the evidence of effectiveness of psychological treatments in treating depression and anxiety in people with dementia and MCI.


We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of psychological treatment versus usual care in people with dementia and MCI. Primary outcomes were symptoms of anxiety and depression. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, ability to perform daily activities, neuropsychiatric symptoms, cognition and caregivers’ self-rated depressive symptoms.


We included six RCTs, involving 439 participants with dementia, which used cognitive–behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, counselling or multimodal interventions including a specific psychological therapy. We found beneficial effects for both depression and anxiety. Overall, the quality of the evidence was moderate for depression and low for anxiety, due to the methodological limitations of the studies we identified and the limited number of trials.


The evidence from six RCTs suggests that psychological treatments are effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety for people with dementia. There is a need for high-quality, multicentre trials including standardised, well-defined interventions.

via Psychological treatments for depression and anxiety in dementia and mild cognitive impairment: systematic review and meta-analysis | The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Prevalence of dementia in population groups

Public Health England has published Prevalence of dementia in population groups by protected characteristics: a systematic review of the literature. This review examines how common dementia is and how much it varies between groups with the following characteristics: socio-economic position, race or ethnic group, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability. This review builds on previous work by the Department of Health in 2010 to 2011, as part of the development of the Dementia Equalities Action Plan (DH, 2011).

Different routes to success in care of dementia

Three leading models of how to care for people with dementia are being flagged up to the NHS in a bid to improve patient services by sharing learning.

Thousands of people are benefiting from the thriving schemes at Gnosall, Northumberland, and Rotherham and Doncaster and are highlighted in a new report from NHS England.

Patient benefits include: 100 per cent appointment attendance rates, minimal delays, reduced A&E care, less use of mental health services, reduction of fear and stigma, accessibility, choice, specialist tests close to home, only giving information once and having clear agreed care plans.