New Technology to help people with dementia.

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Technology is increasingly being used to help people live for as long as possible in their own home.

The expanding tech research programme aims to improve care for the increasing numbers of people living with dementia.

Recent Tech Developments

  • The Care Research and Technology Centre lauched.
  • A project to use self-driving car tech (Lidar) to help look after people at home.
  • A smartphone app to remind people with dementia how to carry out everyday tasks.
  • An experiment to personalise live radio.

The aim is that sensors around the house or on the body to track signals such as heartbeat, blood pressure and body temperature, gait, brain activity and sleep.

Using AI (artificial intelligence) this information can alert familiy or carers of any risks or changes. For example illness or fall risk. Catching illness early can avoid hospital stays.

Memory and cognitive function are also being researched and monitored. This can then be used to intervene early to assist them if they are showing signs of being agitated.

Dementia also causes problems with sleep. Motion sensors in beds and sheets can track problems. Sensors can also alert if a cooker is left on or if there is liquid on the floor.

Light detection and ranging – Lidar – uses safe low-power laser pulses to build up a three-dimensional scan of objects and people moving around a room. This information can be used to spot deviations in diet, toilet habits, sleep or mobility. It could also activate an alarm if there is an emergency, such as a fall.

Sensors in the home can be better because people with dementia either forget to wear them, or just don’t want to. It also avoids privacy concerns that cameras present.

Monitoring consumption of electricity and water can alert carers if there is an unusual deviation from the normal pattern.

The Alzheimer’s Society is looking for new ways to improve the lives of people with dementia. It helps start-ups with funding from its crowdsourcing programme.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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Talking with Someone with Dementia

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It can be difficult for people without dementia to engage with people that have. People living with dementia can find it hard to communicate.

It’s important that the environment you talk in is conducive to a good chat. Try to minimise background noise as people with dementia can become easily distracted.

Try to establish eye contact and be on the same level as the person you are talking to. This will help them pick up on visual cues about the conversation. People with dementia won’t move or talk at the same pace as you, so take you time and speak slowly and clearly.

People with dementia can often remember feelings but not what has caused them. An effective way to start a conversation with someone living with dementia is to really look at their mood and comment on it, for example ‘You look happy today’ or ‘You seem worried today.’

Keep sentences short to make it easier for a person with dementia to follow you. Think of a subject meaningful to you both. Be a good listener and give them time to think and respond. For those with short term memory loss it is easy to forget the beginning of a conversation.

Having a visual aids can really help people with dementia stay focused. Pictures and objects will help. For example have the medication with you if that is what you need to talk about. If it is about a family member, have a picture of that family member with you.

There are lots of online resources to help start conversations or just help the dementia suffer relax and reminisce. For example: https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk/blog/music-website-help-dementia-suffers/

For those living with dementia, their long-term memories will be precious and often still vivid to them.

Work, childhood, music or food are all great topics of conversation.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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New type of dementia identified

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Dementia is not a single disease, but is the name for a group of symptoms that include problems with memory and thinking.

According to new research published in the journal, Brain, some elderly people have a form of dementia that has been misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s.

Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy, or Late, shares similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s, but it is a distinct disease. Unlike Alzheimer’s, it is thought that it tends to cause a more gradual decline in memory.

It may partly explain why finding a dementia cure has failed so far.

There are lots of different types of dementia and Alzheimer’s is said to be the most common and most researched.

Scientists have been striving to find a cure for dementia, but with so many different types and causes of the disease, the goal has proved difficult.

Having a better understanding of Late might lead to the discovery of new treatments, say the researchers.

Read more about these latest findings on the BBC Website here

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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UK Attitudes towards Dementia – Alzheimer Research UK

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Half of UK adults cannot identify any key risk factors for dementia, according to a study by Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The report, based on a survey of 2,361 adults across the UK, has revealed that more than half of the UK population (52%) has been affected by dementia, with a family member or someone else close to them diagnosed with the condition.

It also found that only 1% were able to name the seven known risk or protective factors for dementia.

The six risk factors are heavy drinking, genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes.

Physical exercise is a protective factor against the disease.

Although a third of cases of dementia are thought to be influenced by factors within our control, only 34% of people surveyed believe it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia, compared with 77% for heart disease and 81% for diabetes.

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that despite growing dementia awareness, there was still a lot of misinformation.

“It is a sad truth that more people are affected by dementia than ever before and half of us now know someone with the condition,” she said.

“Yet despite growing dementia awareness, we must work harder to improve understanding of the diseases that cause it.”

The charity said reducing the number of people who believe that dementia is an inevitable part of ageing is “key”, as “this belief drives other negative attitudes towards dementia”.

Read more about the report here

The full report with some great stats can be found here

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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Whiteboard Idea Helping Dementia Sufferers

Dementia whiteboard

Talking to the BBC, Dr Philip Grimmer says he was “struck” by the whiteboard and had not seen anything like it before

Words of reassurance written on a whiteboard by a daughter to her mother have led to a global conversation about dementia.

What is dementia?

Dementia is a syndrome – a group of related symptoms – associated with an ongoing decline of brain function. It can affect memory, thinking skills and other mental abilities.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia.

Dr Grimmer says the daughter explained that the board aims to reduce “anxious phone calls” made by her mother to relatives, and has been placed in her eye-line at her home in Chippenham.

Dr Grimmer told the BBC: “I’d not seen anything like it before in thousands of house visits. It’s caring, reassuring and sensible – it’s just such a simple idea.”

Read the full article on the BBC here.

Dr Grimmer is now looking forward to sharing the responses he has received from his tweet to his patient’s daughter.

He said: “Dementia is such a heartbreaking subject for so many people and this simple solution to support often elderly relatives has resonated with so many people around the world.

If you are in the UK and need support regarding dementia there are a variety of options on the NHS website.

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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Over-40s not taking free dementia health check

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People aged between 40 and 74 (with no pre-existing health problems) is automatically eligible for the check, which happens every five years.

The 20-minute painless assessment, which checks for heart, kidney and diabetes problems, has been taken by less than 50% of the 15 million eligible people over the past five years.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease remains a leading cause of death in England and Wales in 2017.

Someone who has had a stroke, or has diabetes or heart disease, is around twice as likely to develop vascular dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

The checks are part of the NHS in England’s goal of improving early diagnosis of dementia.

Information about the health check can be found on the NHS UK website.

Read more about the article here



About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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New Scan Can ‘Predict cognitive decline’

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A study – presented at the AHA Scientific Sessions conference in Chicago – claims that a five-minute scan could be used to spot people at risk of dementia before symptoms appear.

Using ultrasound scanners, scientists looked at blood vessels in the necks of more than 3,000 people and monitored them over 15 years.

They found those with the most intense pulses went on to experience greater cognitive decline over the next decade than the other study participants.

Cognitive decline is often one of the first signs of dementia, but not everyone with it go on to develop the condition.

Researchers hope it may offer a new way to predict cognitive decline.

Evidence suggests that controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, having a healthy diet, doing regular exercise and not smoking can all help to stave off dementia.

Read more about the article here

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are an independent, privately-owned care agency. We look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester.

Read more about our care service on our website here.

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New BBC Website to Help Dementia Sufferers

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A new website https://musicmemories.bbcrewind.co.uk/ aims to help dementia sufferers by connecting them with the songs they remember and love.

A phenomenon known as the “memory bump” means the music we hear between the ages of 10 and 30 – when we become independent – carries more emotional resonance than any other.

Music therapy has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, hallucinations and mobility problems in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

The website, which launched recently, allows people to browse nearly 2000 songs, classical works and TV theme tunes from the last 100 years. Creating a playlist of personally meaningful music.

Read more about the benefits of music in a BBC article here
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-45664458

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are a domiciliary care company helping to look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester. Read more about our independent care service on our website here.

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‘Magic Table’ Helping Dementia Suffers

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New technology is helping patients reduce apathy – which is a symptom of dementia – and increase physical activity.

The device projects images on to a table and creates simple games that offer a mental challenge, help to relieve boredom and gets people more active.

The systems is relatively expensive (c£7) but has been installed in a number of dementia clubs and care homes in the UK.

Watch the video from the BBC here:

About Deckchair Care

Deckchair Care are a domiciliary care company helping to look after the elderly in Cheshire and South Manchester. Read more about our independent care service on our website here.

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What are the early signs of dementia?

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850,000 people in the UK have dementia (according to the Alzheimer’s Society), with one in six aged over 80. Although there is no cure, early diagnosis can help ease the symptoms, which include behavioral changes and memory loss.

The symptoms can be divided into three main stages. It can take years to progress from mild to serious, and each person will develop them at a different rate.

The NHS state that the most common early symptoms are memory lapses including:

  • Forgetting place or object names
  • Forgetting recent conversations
  • Regular repetition or asking the same question several times
  • Poor judgement and finding it tough to make decisions
  • Forgetting events or whereabouts of household items
  • Becoming less flexible or resistant to trying new things

There may also be mood changes, increased anxiety or confusion.

As the disease develops from the early stage, memory deteriorates further, with names of loved ones harder to recall. Even recognising friends and family can become difficult.

For more details, go to alzheimers.org.uk

For more information about how we help people and relatives of those suffering from dementia, please see our main site: https://www.deckchaircare.co.uk