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New Figures Show Dementia Is Leading Cause of Death in England And Wales

NeW figures released by the office of National statistics show that for the first time, alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the leading cause of death for england and Wales. of the 529,655 deaths registered during 2015, dementia accounted for 61,686 (11.6%). The report shows that since 2010, mortality rates for Alzheimer’s and other dementias have increased. In contrast, the other top four leading causes of death in 2015 – ischaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, chronic lower respiratory diseases and lung cancer – have all seen falling mortality rates in the last 15 years. The ONS highlights a number of reasons for this trend, including longer life expectancy, improved treatments for other conditions, and improvements in the diagnosis rate for dementia. Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “These figures once again call attention to the uncomfortable reality

that currently, no-one survives a diagnosis of dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Christmas awareness campaign, launching on Wednesday, recognises this truth, that dementia is affecting increasing numbers of people and turning lives upside down. “Some of the increase can be explained by a rise in diagnosis rates and a change in the way dementia is recorded on death certificates, offering a more accurate picture of the impact of dementia. With growing numbers of people living with dementia, we urgently need treatments that can stop or slow the diseases that drive this devastating condition. “This report shows the potential for medical research and public policy to make a positive impact on the health of our nation. Thanks to better treatments and prevention programmes, deaths from many other serious conditions have been steadily dropping: now we must do the same for dementia. Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, it’s caused by diseases that can be fought through research, and we must bring all our efforts to bear on what is now our greatest medical challenge.”

Could Art in Care Homes Help Reduce Loneliness? researCHers at anglia ruskin university will work with essex County Council to see if performance art can help ease loneliness and improve social relationships in care homes, thanks to a £125,000 grant from the arts Council. The two-year project will involve three in-depth case studies in care homes as well as a survey of all care homes and day care centres in Essex. Residents of the selected homes will take part in activities such as music, dance and reminiscence arts – a form of memory therapy. The project will examine how these activities provide opportunities for older people to interact with each other and engage with the wider community. It will also examine how the activities influence the caring relationships between older people and those who work in the care homes. According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, lacking social connections can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The campaign also estimates that about 10% of the general population aged over 65 is lonely most or all of the time.

Despite being in the presence of other residents within care homes, loneliness is still a problem. According to Age UK, care home residents may not appear to be physically isolated, but their relationship with the people they live with may not be enough to ward off loneliness, particularly when the death of friends and loved ones takes away the companionship they need. The study is being carried out by joint investigators Professor Carol Munn-Giddings and Dr Hilary Bungay of Anglia Ruskin University. Professor Munn-Giddings said: “Studies have shown that participation in the arts can improve social interaction, and as such could strengthen relationships among older people living in care homes, some of whom may be suffering from loneliness or mental health issues.” Dr Bungay added: “Faced with an ageing population, this is an important project that could improve the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable members of society. We are delighted that the Arts Council agrees and has provided the funding for this study.” The research will be carried out in partnership with Essex County Council’s Art Development Unit.

Petworth Resident Awarded Highest French Military Order a PetWortH man has been awarded the highest possible french order of merit for his involvement in the liberation of france during World War ii. George Goodchild, 95, originally from Wisborough Green, celebrated the honour of receiving the title of Chevalier and the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur medal at a special event at Rotherlea care home in Petworth, surrounded by his friends, family, residents and staff members. Speaking at the event, George's daughter Sheila said: “Dad was thrilled to receive the medal and was so excited to share the good news with us and everyone else at the home. “He truly is an incredible man who has survived the horrors of war and lived to tell the tale. We’re all glad that he has been recognised in such a prestigious manner and it only felt right that we all came together to mark this important honour for Dad. Three generations were at the party to

present him with the medal, which proved to be the icing on the cake for him, saying that the memory will ‘last him a lifetime’.” George enlisted on 24th April, 1941 and joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He was posted at several barracks in London before volunteering for oversees duty and boarded a train to Southampton in 1943 to begin his journey across the Channel to Arromanches, Normandy, or ‘Gold Beach’ as it was code-named. Gold Beach was one of the five areas of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France during the Second World War, as part of Operation Overlord. British casualties at Gold Beach are estimated at 1,000 – 1,100 men. Debbie Embleton, manager at Rotherlea care home, said: “We were all astonished when we found out that George was the recipient of such a prestigious military honour. He is a fantastic gentleman and we are all really proud to be a part of his special day to recognise his achievement.”

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The Carer #35 Winter 2017  

Issue #35 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Winter (January) 2017.

The Carer #35 Winter 2017  

Issue #35 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Winter (January) 2017.