Dementia care in care homes

The Alzheimer’s Society has published Fix dementia care:  NHS and care homes.

This report marks the second phase of an Alzheimer’s Society campaign looking at the experiences of people with dementia in a range of health and care settings.  It contains the results of a survey of care home managers and the voices of people with dementia, their families and carers.  The report sets out recommendations for the government and NHS to improve the experiences of people with dementia in care homes.

Additional link: RCGP press release

Mobile game to help dementia research

Sea Hero Quest will provide data that will help researchers better understand how diseases like Alzheimer’s affect the brain.

Sea Hero Quest follows the story of a young man who sails the ocean recovering his father’s lost memories. Rather than being given points on a map to follow, players must navigate the world themselves using methods that test their memory and orientations skills. Understanding how people navigate 3D environments is important because the skill is often one of the first lost by people who have dementia.

By playing Sea Hero Quest, researchers hope to create a database of anonymous data about how the healthy human brain navigates, which will then help them determine what causes navigational cognition to go wrong for people suffering from the disease. The more people who play the game, the more valuable data will be created which can then be used by researchers.

The free game was developed by the charity, researchers from University College London and the University of East Anglia, with the backing of communications giant Deutsche Telekom.

Sea Hero Quest is available to dowmload now for Android and iOS.

Related: BBC News Mobile game Sea Hero Quest ‘helps dementia research’ 

NHS England announce roll out of evidence based tool for assisting patients to receive person-centred support to manage their own care

The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) captures the extent to which people feel engaged and confident in taking care of their health. NHS England has now agreed a five-year licence to expand the use of the PAM tool with up to 1.8 million people, as part of the Self-Care programme.

Pharmacist-led Chronic Disease Management: A Systematic Review of Effectiveness and Harms Compared With Usual Care

Review of 63 studies conducted across the US shows pharmacist-led chronic disease management clinics improved physiological goal attainment eg lipid or BP, but were associated with effects similar to those of usual care for resource utilisation eg doctor visits/hospitalisation.

Annals of Internal Medicine published online 26 April 2016

NIHR Signal: Community pharmacies may be a useful place to deliver stop smoking services

National Institute for Health Research Signal

This is an expert commentary of a systematic review which provides evidence that ‘stop smoking’ interventions delivered at a community pharmacy are effective and probably cost-effective for adults, especially when compared to usual care without nicotine replacement.

Strategies to reduce the risk of falling

Morris, J.N. et al. Strategies to reduce the risk of falling: Cohort study analysis with 1-year follow-up in community dwelling older adults. BMC Geriatrics. Published: 29 April 2016

This paper presents information about everyday lifestyle decisions of the older adult that may help reduce the risk of falling.  Two lines of inquiry are pursued: first, the authors identify and then test known mutable fall risk factors and ask how the resolution of such problems correlates with changes in fall rates. Second, they identify a series of everyday lifestyle options that persons may follow and then ask, does such engagement (e.g., engagement in exercise programs) lessen the older adult’s risk of falling and if it does, will the relationship hold as the count of risk factors increases?

Read the full paper: Strategies to reduce the risk of falling: Cohort study analysis with 1-year follow-up in community dwelling older adults