Surrey NHS trust launches Internet of Things trial for improving dementia care

October 12, 2016


Follow this link for fulltext

Date of publication: September 2016

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: “Surrey and Borders Partners NHS Trust has launched a £5m trial of Internet of Things technologies to improve healthcare for people with dementia. The trial, which will involve 700 people with mild to moderate dementia and 700 carers, will allow clinicians to remotely monitor the health and wellbeing of people with dementia. The aim is to allow earlier intervention, reduce unnecessary hospital admissions, relieve pressure on carers, and allow people with dementia to remain in their own homes independently for longer.”

Length of publication: 1 webpage


New £816 million investment in health research

October 12, 2016

Source: Department of Health

Follow this link for fulltext

Date of publication: September 2016

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: “Research into mental health, dementia and antimicrobial resistance among the projects funded by £816 million investment in NHS research.”

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Dementia without walls – Creating a dementia friendly York

October 24, 2012

Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Follow this link for the full-text of the report: Creating a dementia-friendly York

Date of publication: 4th October 2012

In a nutshell:   What does it take to become a dementia-friendly city?

The York Dementia Without Walls project looked into what’s needed to make York a good place to live for people with dementia and their carers.

Dementia-friendly communities can better support people in the early stages of their illness, maintaining confidence and boosting their ability to manage everyday life. Working with people with dementia, the research team investigated how local resources can be harnessed to this end, provided there is enough awareness.

As part of this project, the team also worked with groups of people with dementia to create a dementia-friendly summary of the research.

The project found that:

  • It’s about the whole community – we can all contribute and we can all gain.
  • We all need to understand better what it means to live with dementia. Training, information should be easy to access and well promoted.
  • It’s not just about new things – York already has so much to offer.
  • People with dementia should be central to planning for the future, and we also need to exploit the potential of technology to improve lives.

Length of publication:  68 pages

Home-Based Assessment Tool for Dementia Screening – The home-based computer software is patterned after the paper-and-pencil Clock Drawing Test

October 24, 2012

Source: Georgia Tech

Follow this link for the news story:  Science Daily  

Follow this link for the journal abstract: Hyungsin Kim, (2012) Home-based computerized cognitive assessment tool for dementia screening, Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments , Volume 4 (5) pp. 429-442

Date of Publication: 1st October 2012

Publication type: Website & Journal paper

In a nutshell:  Georgia Tech researchers have created a tool that allows adults to screen themselves for early signs of dementia. The home-based computer software is patterned after the paper-and-pencil Clock Drawing Test, one of health care’s most commonly used screening exams for cognitive impairment.

Georgia Tech’s ClockMe system eliminates the paper trail and computerizes the test into two main components: the ClockReader Application and the ClockAnalyzer Application. Click here to see a video demo.

ClockReader is the actual test and is taken with a stylus and computer or tablet. The participant is given a specific time and instructed to draw a clock with numbers and the correct minute and hour hands. Once completed, the sketch is emailed to a clinician, who uses the ClockAnalyzer Application to score the test. The software checks for 13 traits. They include correct placement of numbers and hands without extra markings. People with cognitive impairment frequently draw clocks with missing or extra numbers. Digits are sometimes drawn outside of the clock. The time is often incorrect.

Click here to watch the video demonstration of the Clock Reader image is on the right-hand side.

Length of publication: 12 pages

Supporting Information:

2012 Simple scoring of the clock drawing test for dementia screening

2010 Is the Clock Drawing Test a screening tool for the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment? A systematic review

Exercise in old age is better prevention for dementia than mental stimulation

October 24, 2012

Source:  BBC & Neurology & Alzheimer’s Society

Follow this link for the abstract: Evidence behind the headline – Gow, A J (2012) Neuroprotective lifestyles and the aging brain activity, atrophy, and white matter integrity, Neurology Vol.79 (17) pp.1802-1808

Date of publication: October 2012

Publication type: paper

In a nutshell: 

Exercising regularly in old age may better protect against brain shrinkage than engaging in mental or social activities, according to a new study published in the journal, Neurology®.

Researchers looked at medical records of 638 people from Scotland born in 1936. The participants were given MRI scans at 73 years old. The group gave details about their exercise habits, ranging from moving only in connection with necessary household chores to keeping fit with heavy exercise or participating in competitive sports several times per week. They also reported their participation in social and mentally stimulating activities.

The study found that after three years, people who participated in more physical activity experienced less brain shrinkage than those who exercised minimally.

Length of publication: 7 pages

Additional documents to support the evidence

2011 Alzheimer’s Society Exercise & physical activity for people with dementia

2010 Alzheimer’s Society Keeping active and staying involved

More dementia patients ‘likely to have undiagnosed dementia’

October 24, 2012

Source: BBC

Link to the –  RCPE news story

Date of publication: 7th September 2012

In a nutshell – News Story: Older people being treated in Scottish hospitals are more likely to have undiagnosed dementia, a study by doctors has found. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) found dementia was present in 25% of all in-patients. Of that number, about half of them – an estimated 1,600 people – do not know they have it, the study found.

RCPE has now called for medical training to change in order to diagnose the condition. The organisation said undiagnosed dementia can result in inappropriate care and an increased length of hospital stay.

Statistics also showed that dementia was present in around 40% of in-patients aged over 70.

Increasing burden

The RCPE’s Alasdair MacLullich, professor of geriatric medicine at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, said: “The diagnosis and assessment of dementia presents a major challenge to medical staff in hospitals who until recently have not needed to be trained in its diagnosis and treatment.

“Medical training must evolve in line with the evolving dementia epidemic to ensure that medical staff are trained in diagnosing, assessing and treating dementia.

“Additionally, there must be sufficient numbers of trained doctors to cope with this increasing burden of disease.”

Henry Simmons, chief executive of the charity Alzheimer Scotland, said: “We greatly welcome this focus on improving the rates of dementia diagnosis in Scotland’s hospitals.

“There have been some significant improvements made to NHS training, however, this still relies on staff being aware that the person in question has dementia, which is currently difficult unless they have an existing diagnosis.

“It is only with a diagnosis that we can ensure not only more appropriate hospital care but also offer better information, advice and community-based support for the person and their family.”

Housing services and support for people with dementia – Alzheimer’s Society believes housing service providers can play a key role supporting the development of dementia friendly communities

September 6, 2012

Source: Alzheimer’s Society

Follow this link for the full report – Home Truths: Housing services & support for people with dementia 

Date of publication: June 2012

Publication type: Report

In a nutshell:  Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community and people with dementia and their carers place great importance on their homes. However, Alzheimer’s Society’s Home truths found experiences of housing and housing services are mixed and more needs to be done to link housing with health and social care services.

  Home truths makes four recommendations around housing and housing services for people with dementia.

  1. Local authorities, homebuilders and governments should recognise that appropriate housing services and support are key mechanisms for effective support of people with dementia in the community.
  2. There should be a choice in housing options and tenures available to people with dementia, including mainstream and specialist housing.
  3. People with dementia, their families and carers should have access to information and advice on housing options, handyperson services and sources of funding for adaptations and alterations.
  4. People with dementia should have access to homes designed with their needs in mind.The report was informed by interviews and focus groups with people with dementia and carers and a review of existing policy and evidence on housing and dementia.

Length of publication: 47 pages

The village where people have dementia – and fun – Holland has developed an innovative, humane and apparently affordable way of caring for people with dementia

September 5, 2012

Source: The Guardian

Follow this link for the full story: The village where people have dementia and fun  and   Podcast

Date of publication: 27th August 2012

Publication type: Website

In a nutshell:   How is society to look after the ever-growing number of people with dementia? A curiously uplifting care home near Amsterdam may have the answers. Over the past few months, experts from around the world – Germany, the US, Australia, soon Britain.

Two core principles governed Hogewey’s award-winning design and inform the care that’s given here, says Van Zuthem. First, it aims to relieve the anxiety, confusion and often considerable anger that people with dementia can feel by providing an environment that is safe, familiar and human; an almost-normal home where people are surrounded by things they recognise and by other people with backgrounds, interests and values similar to their own. Second, “maximising the quality of people’s lives. Keeping everyone active. Focusing on everything they can still do, rather than everything they can’t. The cost is comparable to a standard nursing home facility, yet the rewards are priceless.

Dementia in a continually ageing population would mean the number of people is likely to double, to more than 65 million by 230, and treble 20 years later, as predicted by World Health Organisation.

In Britain, an Oxford University study puts the number of people with dementia at more than 800,000, rising to more than 1 million by 2025. We spend £23bn a year on caring for the condition in this country, double the sum we spend on cancer and three times that on heart disease. A quarter of UK hospital beds are now occupied by people with the condition.

In March David Cameron talked of a “national crisis”. As we live longer, and more and more of us develop the degenerative brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, which are the most common cause of the condition, how society cares for people with dementia, he said, has become “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.

Length of publication: website pages