Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch have (Wednesday 17th December 2014) launched the Irish National Dementia Strategy. This honours the commitment in the Programme for Government to develop a national Alzheimer’s and other dementias strategy to increase awareness, ensure timely diagnosis and intervention, and develop enhanced community based services.
The Strategy sets out a number of principles to underpin the provision of care and supports for people with dementia including:
Training older people in the use of social media improves cognitive capacity, increases a sense of self-competence and could have a beneficial overall impact on mental health and well-being, according to a landmark study carried out in the UK.
You are only as old as you feel, as the saying goes, and new research suggests that feeling younger than you are could have health benefits. A study from University College London has found that people who felt younger than their actual age had a lower death rate than people who felt their age or older. It found a lower death rate in older people who felt 3 or more years younger than their actual age, compared with participants who felt their actual age or more than 1 year older. Read more here.
Trinity College Dublin has been chosen as a key partner in two milestone EU consortia that will boost innovation and tackle issues related to ageing, health and raw materials. The European Institute for Innovation and Technology recently announced the winning consortia for two new Knowledge Innovation Communities − large scale partnerships made up of academic institutions and innovation stakeholders. Read more here.
The Alzheimer's Society UK has launched a campaign for everyone with dementia to receive full information about their diagnosis, and the support available to them. Currently 52 per cent of people with dementia in the UK do not receive a formal dementia diagnosis.
CARDI hosted a networking event on dementia research across the island of Ireland on Friday 12 December 2014 in Dublin.
There are currently over 67,000 people living with dementia across the island of Ireland, with that number set to treble in the next 30 years. Research in various aspects of dementia including diagnosis, care, treatment and prevention is vital as prevalence grows.
By 2030 one in five people on the island of Ireland will be 65 years or older. As the population ages research into ageing and older people is vital to help plan for healthier and more active later lives for everyone.
EU-funded researchers have developed new apps that enable healthcare workers to provide more personalised care to dementia sufferers. The apps, developed through the EU-funded MIRROR project, have been designed to enable workers in residential homes to be more creative and effective in delivering person-centred care. The Carer App, for example, supports a range of functions, including creating new solutions to challenging behaviours and recording good care practices. Read more here.
A UWE Bristol professor in mental health is one of the key experts behind a new care pathway and Guide to Psychosocial Interventions in Dementia launched recently by the British Psychological Society. Professor Richard Cheston is a clinical psychologist who worked with colleagues from five NHS Trusts to produce the documents which bring together current research and best practice in psychosocial care.
Budget 2015 in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) brought good news to the over 65s with a return of the Christmas bonus and a €100 payment toward water charges for those in receipt of the household allowance or winter fuel allowance.
Announced on 14 October 2014 by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, the budget was heralded as the “end of austerity” budget, with no cuts to social welfare for the first time since 2009.
The key points relevant to older people are outlined below by Conor Breen, CARDI's policy officer in this CARDI blog: