A new milestone for improving dementia care in hospitals

Nicci Gerrard on holiday with her father, John, in Sweden last year.
Nicci Gerrard, the founder of John’s Campaign, with her father John, the inspiration behind it

Today, John’s Campaign is celebrating that all acute trusts in England have voluntarily signed up to the Campaign. In this blog, we celebrate what this means for people with dementia and their carers during a hospital stay. 

Admission to hospital can be an anxiety provoking experience for anyone. For someone with dementia it can be particularly frightening: surrounded by strange noises, smells, people, equipment and routines. It can be disorientating, disruptive and scary.

People with dementia often experience poorer outcomes and stay in hospital for longer, compared with the general population. For many, a stay in hospital results in the worsening of their dementia symptoms and they leave hospital less independent. 

Continue reading “A new milestone for improving dementia care in hospitals”

Getting it right for people with dementia in hospital

The care of older people with dementia is a critical issue for hospitals. An estimated 850,000 people in the UK live with dementia and it is thought that around a quarter of all people in hospital have dementia.

Prevalence of dementia increases with age, as does the average length of time people spend in hospital if they’re admitted.

This means getting care right for people with dementia should be a central component of good hospital services. For a number of years the National Audit of Dementia has been examining how well hospitals are doing at meeting the needs of people with dementia and their families and carers.

In this guest blog, Chloe Snowdon, Deputy Programme Manager of the Audit, explains what they are looking for and how you can get involved.

Continue reading “Getting it right for people with dementia in hospital”

How can we support people with dementia to live well?

PATLWWD cover

Around 850,000 people are estimated to have dementia in the UK, and that figure is expected to rise to 1 million by 2025.

Rising prevalence has led to a number of new initiatives focussing on the condition. In 2015, the Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia 2020 set out more than 50 commitments with the hope of making England a world leader in dementia care, research and awareness by 2020.

Efforts like this are starting to reap rewards, and there have been recent improvements in the rates of diagnosis and new funds being developed to research the condition.

However, despite these positive steps, we know people with dementia and their carers still find it hard to get good quality care and support or to lead as active a life in the community as they could.

With this in mind, Age UK started looking at what ‘living well’ meant to people with dementia and their carers, and from there we branched out to find an array of services and approaches that could help them achieve this. Our findings are published in a new report, ‘Promising Approaches to Living Well with Dementia.’

Continue reading “How can we support people with dementia to live well?”

Implementing John’s Campaign – improving the quality of care and experiences of people with dementia in hospitals

Nicci Gerrard on holiday with her father, John, in Sweden last year.
Nicci Gerrard with her father John, the inspiration behind John’s Campaign

There’s no doubt that a familiar face, like that of a loved one and carer, can really put a person with dementia at ease during a hospital stay. The benefit to patient, family and staff is immeasurable; vital not only to settle the person, but to aid communication and prepare them for diagnostics or treatment, thereby helping professionals carry out their jobs. The carer may also be able to provide vital information and background, or support and stimulate a restless patient as opposed to leaving them confused and bed bound.

John’s Campaign, founded in 2014 by Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones, calls for an end to restrictive visiting hours in hospitals to enable more people with dementia to benefit from the support of a carer when they need it.

Continue reading “Implementing John’s Campaign – improving the quality of care and experiences of people with dementia in hospitals”

Guest blog: Dementia Awareness Week gets the Big Lottery Fund thinking

Castlehaven Community Centre
Castlehaven Community Centre

This guest blog was contributed by Abigail Ryan, Learning and Programmes Manager at the Big Lottery Fund. The Big Lottery Fund awards grants to UK organisations to help improve their communities. 

Ways of helping people to live well with dementia have been on our minds at the Big Lottery Fund recently, particularly in the wake of this year’s Dementia Awareness Week. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has been an emerging theme on our UK Accelerating Ideas programme, which aims to get great ideas and practice for our ageing society more widely shared and adopted across the UK. Continue reading “Guest blog: Dementia Awareness Week gets the Big Lottery Fund thinking”

Guest blog: Becoming ‘the best place in the world’ for dementia treatment

This guest blog was contributed by William Kloverod Griffiths, Policy and Projects Officer, at the think tank ResPublica

The Prime Minister wants the UK to be ‘the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.’ The UK has indeed taken a leading role in initiatives among the G7 countries and the World Health Organisation, and the amount of money going into dementia research in the UK has recently doubled.

However, the total figure is still low when compared to funding for other conditions (such as cancer). There has also been a considerable focus on funding biomedical research ahead of research on how to best care for people with dementia. To be truly ‘best in the world’ we must see dementia not only through a biomedical lens but as a much wider issue which draws in all sections of society. Continue reading “Guest blog: Becoming ‘the best place in the world’ for dementia treatment”

Guest blog: What are the challenges and opportunities for ageing and cognitive decline for financial services?

Steven Cooper, Chief Executive, Personal Banking, Barclays UK, speaking at the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Symposium 2016
Steven Cooper, Chief Executive, Personal Banking, Barclays UK, speaking at the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Symposium 2016

This guest blog was contributed by Steven Cooper, Chief Executive, Personal Banking, Barclays UK. 

With over 10 million people in the UK over 65 and 850,000 people living with dementia, this is a crucial question, and one posed by the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing at their conference and symposium on 3 and 4 February.

Barclays was very pleased to sponsor this conference and play an active part in the discussions. Older people provide huge benefits to our society and economy, caring for children and volunteering their time. As one of the largest banks in the UK we have a diverse customer base and older customers make up a significant proportion- around a quarter of our current accounts are held by someone over 60. Continue reading “Guest blog: What are the challenges and opportunities for ageing and cognitive decline for financial services?”