Stirling researchers explore how assistive tech can help people with dementia

University of Stirling | February 2021 | Uni researchers explore how assistive tech can help people with dementia

A new research project will explore how assistive technology, such as telecare devices, can better support residents in retirement living schemes and those living with long-term conditions such as dementia.

The project INVITE (promoting inclusive living via technology-enabled support) is being funded by Longleigh Foundation and will investigate the success of assistive and everyday technologies in retirement living schemes and what further technologies might be required in the future.

This piece of research will combine the expertise of three acadmeics from the University of Stirling: Dr Jane Robertson, Dr Vikki McCall and Dr Grant Gibson from the Faculty of Social Sciences. Other stakeholders involved include the social housing provider Stonewater, as well as other experts from Stirlings Dr Steve Rolfe, a Research Fellow with expertise in housing, and Angela Pusram, a Research Assistant with expertise in dementia, will work with Stonewater’s retirement communities and their families in three localities of England – Eastbourne, Hereford and Nottingham (Source: University of Stirling).

Full details are available from the University of Stirling

Useful tips on the COVID-19 vaccine for people with dementia #covid19rftlks

Dementia Partnerships | January 2021 | Useful tips on the COVID-19 vaccine for people with dementia

The Royal College of Psychiatrists in conjunction with Dementia UK, have produced a briefing that includes useful tips for giving the COVID-19 vaccine without causing distress and how to explain the vaccination to someone who is living with dementia.

Image source: rcpsych.ac.uk

The breifing includes useful tips for giving someone the vaccination without causing undue distress; how to explain to someone with dementia and/or their families about the COVID 19 vaccination and what happens if someone with dementia is unable to consent to their vaccine via Dementia Partnerships.

Read the full article at Dementia Partnerships

Access and download the Useful tips on the Covid-19 vaccine for people with dementia

Helen Green, Dementia Specialist Nurse on Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, charts the causes and progression of vascular dementia

Open Access Government | Feburary 15 2021 | Helen Green, Dementia Specialist Nurse on Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, charts the causes and progression of vascular dementia

This article charts the causes and progression of vascular dementia, it’s author Helen Green, Dementia Specialist Nurse on Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, explains more about the umbrella term dementia, vascular dementia and mixed dementia.

Causes and progression of vascular dementia

LGBT: Living with dementia

Alzheimer’s Society | nd | LGBT: Living with dementia

The Alzheimer’s Society has developed a webpage for individuals that are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and have dementia. On this page the UK’s leading dementia charity explains how LGBT people can live well with dementia.

This webpage focuses on the following:

  1. LGBT: Living with dementia
  2. LGBT: Memory problems and reminiscence
  3. LGBT: Your support
  4. LGBT: Your rights
  5. LGBT: Planning ahead
  6. LGBT: Services and support
  7. LGBT: Care settings
  8. LGBT – other resources

See Alzheimer’s Society for further details

BMJ Psychiatry: Relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population

Cai, H., et al 2021| Relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population|General Psychiatry|34|e100361| doi: 10.1136/gpsych-2020-100361

Research that looked at the potential relationship between having a nap in the afternoon and cognitive function in older people, reports an association between resting after lunch and improved cognitive function. Chinese researchers identified an association between demography, napping, napping frequency, physical diseases, and cognition in their sample of more than 2200 Chinese participants aged 60 or over at the study’s outset.

The authors add that n addition to reducing sleepiness, mid-day naps offer a variety of benefits such as memory consolidation, preparation for subsequent learning, executive functioning enhancement and a boost to emotional stability, but these effects were not observed in all cases.

Abstract

Background Several studies have shown that afternoon napping promotes cognitive function in the elderly; on the other hand, some studies have shown opposite results. This current study further examined the relationship between afternoon napping and cognitive function in the ageing Chinese population.

Methods A total of 2214 elderly were included (napping group: n=1534; non-napping group: n= equal to 680). They all received cognitive evaluations by the Beijing version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the Chinese version of the Neuropsychological Test Battery. Among all the subjects, 739 elderly volunteered to take blood lipid tests.

Results Significant differences in cognitive function and blood lipids were observed between the napping and the non-napping groups. Afternoon napping was associated with better cognitive function including orientation, language, and memory in the present study. Subjects with the habit of afternoon napping also showed a higher level of triglyceride than the non-napping subjects.

Conclusion The results demonstrated that afternoon napping was related to better cognitive function in the Chinese ageing population.

Full paper from BMJ Psychiatry

In the news:

Science Daily Afternoon napping linked to better mental agility

Brain Health: A new way to think about dementia risk reduction

Alzheimer’s Research UK and Royal Society for Public Health| January 2021  |Brain Health: A new way to think about dementia risk reduction

A report published earlier this month by the Royal Society for Public Health and Alzheimer’s Research UK makes the case for introducing the term ‘brain health’ as a new way for the public and policy-makers to engage with and discuss dementia. Their research shows that ‘brain health’ has the potential to help far more people start managing their risk of dementia. The new research reveals that a little over two thirds of UK adults believe they can influence their brain health (69 per cent) – this is double the number who believe they can reduce their risk of getting dementia (34 per cent).

Image source: rsph.org.uk Image description: Front cover of the publication, it shows a photograph of two older men smiling on a sunny day

The report makes several key arguments in favour of making the public more aware of their ‘brain health’:

  • Brain health is recognised as being important at all ages, unlike dementia risk reduction, which is associated with older adulthood;
  • Health-conscious behaviours are driven more by brain health than dementia risk reduction, with nearly 60 per cent of UK adults polled stating they stay mentally active to improve or maintain brain health;
  • Almost nine in ten (86 per cent) agree that brain health is about keeping the brain working properly.

The report makes several key arguments in favour of making the public more aware of their ‘brain health’:

  • Brain health is recognised as being important at all ages, unlike dementia risk reduction, which is associated with older adulthood;
  • Health-conscious behaviours are driven more by brain health than dementia risk reduction, with nearly 60 per cent of UK adults polled stating they stay mentally active to improve or maintain brain health;
  • Almost nine in ten (86 per cent) agree that brain health is about keeping the brain working properly.

Over two thirds of UK adults believe they can influence their brain health

See also: One in 10 UK adults say brain health has deteriorated in pandemic [report]

One in 10 UK adults say brain health has deteriorated in pandemic

Alzheimer’s Research UK |  January 2021| One in 10 UK adults say brain health has deteriorated in pandemic

A poll conducted by Alzheimer’s Research UK shows that 14 per cent of UK adults feel that brain health has declined since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two thirds of the respondents in this survey said they would consider making changes to improve their health as a result of the pandemic.

The charity’s findings in the poll, underline that people’s awareness of dementia has increased, 16 per cent of respondents reporting an increased awareness. The charity believes now is the opportune time to support people to take positive action, particularly with new lockdown measures in place.

Image is a still from the video Think Brain Health. It shows how looking after our brain can reduce our risk, by keeping connected, staying sharp and doing things to keep our hear healthy can also reduce

To this end they have launched a new campaign Think Brain Health, which aims to increase awareness of three rules for improving brain health:

  • Looking after heart health, by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and keeping blood pressure, weight and cholesterol in check.
  • Staying sharp, by taking part in activities that keep the brain active.
  • And keeping connected, by staying socially active and connecting with other people.

Alzheimer’s Research UK One in 10 UK adults say brain health has deteriorated in pandemic

High-intensity functional exercise in older adults with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Yeh, S-W et al. (2020) |High-intensity functional exercise in older adults with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis |Clinical Rehabilitation | https://doi.org/10.1177/0269215520961637

This systematic review underlines the impact of high intensity exercise on older people with dementia. The researchers reviewed some 15 articles describing six trials including older adults and controlled groups. They report that facilitated activities had an effect on of daily living and psychiatric well-being; with effects on activities of daily living being the most long-lasting. This review also highlights how adverse effects of high-intensity functional exercise were minimal to none.

Abstract

Objective:

This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of high-intensity functional exercise among older adults with dementia.

Methods:

In this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, we collected articles published before August 2020 from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library to evaluate the effect of high-intensity functional exercise on older adults with dementia. Primary outcomes included improvements in balance function and gait performance (speed, cadence, and stride length). The secondary outcomes included lower limb strength, activities of daily living, psychiatric well-being, depression, and cognition. Furthermore, we performed subgroup analysis with two high-intensity functional exercise programs: the Umeå program and Hauer’s program.

High-intensity functional exercise in older adults with dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis – Shu-Wei Yeh, Li-Fong Lin, Hung-Chou Chen, Li-Kai Huang, Chaur-Jong Hu, Ka-Wai Tam, Yi-Chun Kuan, Chien-Hsiung Hong, 2020

Results:

We identified 15 articles describing six trials including older adults with dementia undergoing high-intensity functional exercise or control activity. The meta-analysis indicated that high-intensity functional exercise, both in Hauer’s program and in the Umeå program, significantly improved balance function (pooled standardized mean difference 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.31–0.83). Hauer’s program significantly improved gait speed, cadence, stride length, and lower limb strength. Beneficial effects on speed, cadence, and lower limb strength were retained for several months. The Umeå program facilitated activities of daily living and psychiatric well-being, with effects on activities of daily living lasting several months. In the only eligible trial, no effects on cognition were observed. Adverse effects of high-intensity functional exercise were minimal to none.

Conclusions:

High-intensity functional exercise is generally safe and is recommended for older individuals with mild or moderate dementia to provide benefits in motor performance and daily functioning (Source: Yeh, S-W et al., 2020).

Rotherham NHS staff can request this article from the Library