Music study investigates communication in people living with dementia

Chelsea Court music therapy - Derek and the team are behind the dementia therapy research

Chelsea Court Place, a residential home for individuals living with dementia, is working with the University of Roehampton in a research project entitled Beyond Words, which uses ‘micro-songs’ to recapture and sustain functional language in people with advanced dementia.

The study aims to investigate the power of music, enabling people living with dementia to retain their speech and help communicate their wishes and needs for a longer period than would be normally be the case in the natural deterioration caused by the disease. 

Singing Brings Joy To Those Living With Dementia

Celia singing to crowd with dementia

In December 2018, I had the honour of bringing some festive cheer to a group of people living with dementia, and also their carers. 

I began volunteering for Alzheimer’s Society back in May 2018. I didn’t really know what to expect but I had a very open mind, so I was accepting of anything that I would have to face. Ever since I began volunteering, I have been so thankful for the happiness and joy that it has brought into my life. Unfortunately I am unable to volunteer currently due to work commitments, but I really hope to be back in the near future.

Dementia affects thousands of people in the UK. I wanted to be a part of the charity that does amazing things for such a heart-breaking condition.

Music all in a day's work at Balhousie Care Group

Patsy from Balhousie Care Group dancing to music

It's not a bad day at work when you spend a large part of it listening to your favourite song tracks. But that's just how Balhousie Care Group employees spent a day recently when they learned the benefits of music to people living with dementia.

Sixteen care home staff from across the award-winning group gathered in Balhousie Monkbarns in Arbroath - one of Balhousie Care's 25 homes across Scotland - to receive their latest training in the popular Playlist for Life, a programme launched by broadcaster Sally Magnusson for use in care homes, hospitals and the community.

Batleys raises funds for Middlesbrough residents with dementia

Batleys staff

BATLEYS Cleveland has donated hundreds of pounds to a Middlesbrough care home. The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road, received £630 from the wholesale cash and carry business, based on Concorde Way, Preston Farm Industrial Estate.

Two of the firm’s warehouse operatives, Carol Bell and Alison Rafrafi, organised a tombola and raffle to raise the funds.

They persuaded fellow staff and sales reps to donate prizes and customers who visited the warehouse bought tickets.

Reach Sled Dog Rescue have been helping care home residents with dementia

Reach Sled Dog Rescue helping care home residents

Reach Sled Dog Rescue recently visited Stocks Hall Care Home in Skelmersdale, Lancashire to meet all the ladies and gentlemen living at the Home.

REACH is a sled dog rescue founded in November 2015 focusing mainly on Huskies and Malamutes. Its five founders are all experienced sled dog owners with prior experience in animal rescue.

The rescue relies heavily on the dedication of its community members with help fostering unwanted dogs, assisting with events and fundraising, as well as spreading the word concerning these unique and often misunderstood breeds.

Why a balanced diet is important for people with dementia

Great Oaks Care Home Dementia Staff Have A Balanced Diet

Great Oaks care home in Bournemouth has a designated catering team that promotes the philosophy of using fresh, locally sourced ingredients in its nutrition-rich meals. The wellbeing of residents is a priority and they often spend time in the landscaped garden picking home-grown vegetables, which are later used by the chefs in their favourite dishes. The home has recently introduced ‘A Breath of Fresh Care’ initiative which encourages residents to spend more time outdoors whenever possible. As part of this initiative, residents have the opportunity to tend to the home’s garden and plant their favourite flowers and vegetables.  Patrick Fensterseifer, head chef at Great Oaks, explained: “Good nutrition is vital for the health and wellbeing of people with dementia.

Spearhead Healthcare opens the doors to Staffordshire care home showroom

Spearhead Healthcare - a stylish bedroom

Spearhead Healthcare, one of the UK’s leading suppliers to the care home sector, has launched a care home showroom in Staffordshire in response to growing demand for high quality furniture, furnishings and equipment designed specifically for the care environment.

Professor June Andrews, international dementia expert and former director of the University of Stirling's Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), officially opened the showroom at a well-attended launch event at the end of September where she cut the ribbon and gave a talk on the reasons why care home-specific and dementia-specific design is so crucial to the quality of life for residents.

Borough Care Providing Person Centred Dementia Support

Borough Care logo

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, with World Alzheimer’s Day falling on 21 September each year.  September 2018 marks the 7th World Alzheimer’s Month, which is an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.  It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Borough Care, the largest not for profit provider of care for older people in Stockport, has over 20 years of experience supporting people with dementia.  Nine of Borough Care’s eleven homes are specialist dementia care homes.

Canine companions bring joy to care home residents

Canine companions bring joy to care home residents

FURRY friends have been helping care home residents with dementia by providing company and cuddles.

Lindsey Dixon and her dog Shadow visit The Oaks Care Home, Blyth, twice a week.

Lindsey, who is from Blyth, is a volunteer with North East based friendship dogs charity, Wag and Company.

They enable visiting dog teams to build meaningful new friendships with older dog lovers.

Ann Mielnik, Home manager at The Oaks, said: “Our residents love to see Shadow visiting and the smiles on their faces just say it all.

“Volunteers with just a small amount of spare time each week work with their own pets to bring joy and comfort to many individuals who appreciate being able to touch and stroke a friendly animal.

Former nurse with dementia perfectly recalls healthcare skills

Former nurse with dementia perfectly recalls healthcare skills

AN 84-YEAR-OLD former nurse has been recalling her healthcare skills at the care home where she worked – despite her advanced dementia.   

June Jennings is now a resident at Holmewood Care Home, where she worked for 25 years as a sister, along with fellow home Barnfield.

Her former duties included caring for the residents and managing the staff, some of whom still work at the two homes, on Barnfield Close, in Chesterfield.

She moved into the home in June 2018, having lived in Grassmoor and Holmewood during her career and eventual retirement.

Why therapeutic sensory support is important for people with dementia

Joanna Grace - Sharing Sensory Stories

by Joanna Grace, author of Sharing Sensory Stories and Conversations with People with Dementia

You may have heard people saying they do Sudoku or the crossword daily to keep their grey matter active. Well they are right to do this, but in order to maintain our brains we need to experience a broad range of stimulation, including sensory. Many people in later age end up in environments of limited sensory scope so there are always benefits to bringing in the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and touch sensations from other places.

Dementia crisis on horizon: The Sound Doctor helps raise awareness

The Sound Doctor

Health educators, The Sound Doctor, say a dementia crisis is on the horizon, as it is revealed that only 3% of people make active preparation for the disease. 

The Times has reported that, despite the fact that 75% of the population are afraid of developing dementia or losing their ability to make decisions, 97% of people have taken no legal steps toward securing care in the future.

Dementia is the leading cause of death in England and Wales, making up 12% of the total deaths in 2016. It’s on the rise, too: the number of people diagnosed has increased by 54% in the last ten years, according to The Times. 

In just 7 years, more than 13 million people who are at risk of dementia will have no legal or medical arrangements made due to a lack of preparation. 

The Impact Of Noise On People With Dementia

The Impact Of Noise On People With Dementia

Poor acoustics in a building can have a detrimental impact on people with dementia. Here  we look at some of the effects of noise and how the sound environment can be improved.

How dementia and ageing affects our hearing

As we become older, our hearing is often affected as part of the ageing process  and we lose the ability to hear high frequency sounds. Childen can typically hear or sense sounds at 20,000 Hz, whereas many people aged 85 cannot hear 8,000 Hz and so have lost a huge part of their range of hearing. In a noisy environment it is difficult to pick out speech and understand conversation; this is isolating, increases anxiety and can become distressing.