How the brain progresses from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s-type dementia has been an enigma for the scientific community. However, a recent study has shed light on this progression by showing the typical patterns of the brain’s progression to dementia.
A BENWELL care home is launching a specialist support group for carers and families in the local community who are faced with caring for loved ones with dementia.
Allan Court, which is part of Bondcare Shaftesbury, will hold a dementia support group on the last Thursday of each month, which is open to anyone who is affected by dementia care.
The group will offer expert guidance by trained professionals for individuals caring for loved ones with the condition and provide the opportunity for people in the community who are going through similar situations to support and talk to each other, share their stories and advise on best practice.
A protein involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease also has properties that could be helpful for human health, a research study has found. The discovery helps researchers better understand the complicated brain chemistry behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
SHEFFCARE, the not for profit organisation that operates a chain of 11 residential care homes across Sheffield, is taking part in a major European research programme.
Sheffcare and the University of Sheffield have been successful in securing funding for research into how people with dementia could be supported with technology.
Sheffcare has been awarded a grant of 180,000 which will released over a three-year period as the research project continues.
BUPA Care Services is to recruit 150 dementia ambassadors – the largest number in Scotland – ensuring at least three will be located in each of its homes across the country.
The pledge is part of the group’s commitment to provide expertly-trained staff who can deliver care and support to people living with dementia and their family members.
The Dementia Ambassadors programme is a key element of the Scottish government’s Promoting Excellence programme: a skills and competencies framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia.
Since adopting the programme last June, Bupa has already helped more than 100 staff members to sign up to the scheme, but it has announced plans to bring that number of 150 – ensuring it will host the largest number of Dementia Ambassadors in Scotland.
To mark Dementia Awareness Week ( May 18-24), Dine Contract Catering nutritionist Roz Witney shares her advice for catering for residents with this complex condition.
‘Good nutritional intake is a major contribution to maintaining health and wellbeing for residents with dementia, especially as under-nutrition can exacerbate dementia. However, as a loss of taste and smell, coupled with a general apathy for food, often goes hand in hand with dementia, it can be very difficult for carers to encourage residents to eat in the first place.
‘With this in mind, here are my top tips on how to help residents with dementia get the nutrition they need to remain as healthy as possible.’
Embrace snack times
Limiting eating occasions to a pattern of set mealtimes at breakfast, lunch and dinner isn’t appropriate for dementia sufferers, who often need to eat at more regular intervals. Offering snacks in between meals will help maintain a steady intake of energy and accommodate for fluctuations in appetite throughout the day, as low blood sugar levels can intensify the condition (as this often means less glucose reaches the brain).
Make the most of desserts
This is often the most popular course for those with dementia, so it’s a good chance to help them take on vitamins and minerals that may be missing from their diet. Try serving options that have been fortified with additional nutrients.
For example, a sticky toffee pudding made with wholemeal flour and dates, served with custard, not only provides vital nutrients, but also fibre to keep bowels healthy plus iron for immune and cognitive function as well as an array of micronutrients to protect against further neurodegeneration.
Include smoother options
Milkshakes, smoothies and soups can prove more appealing for those with smaller appetites and can be fortified easily.
For instance, blending a banana with yoghurt, as well as whole milk, ground almonds and a small scoop of ice cream provides around 400 calories, as well as essential fatty acids, protein, calcium, folate and fibre.
Quinoa (a supernutritional seed that looks and tastes like a soft rice grain) has a perfect protein profile and is very easily metabolised, making it an ideal addition to soups.
Use visual aids
Giving residents with dementia a picture menu rather than asking them to recognise meals from a written description will go a long way in improving nutrition. Presenting them with appetising pictures of nicely presented dishes is a useful way to encourage them to eat.
Consider coconut oil
Among the latest theories as to the causes of dementia has described Alzheimer’s (the most common form of the condition) as ‘diabetes of the brain’ and researchers are currently looking at the influence of a certain type of fat (medium chain triglycerides) that can act as fuel for brain cells in the absence of glucose.
Coconut oil is a rich source of this kind of fat and makes an excellent alternative to cooking oil as it is stable at high temperatures. Plus, we’ve found that its great taste makes it an ideal replacement to butter or margarine when making cakes or biscuits.
For further information visit www.dine-contract-catering.com or call 01925 282 330.
Source:Dementia Awareness Week 2015
A NEW drop-in centre for people in Ipswich who are living with dementia, and their families, has been given a VIP launch.
Mayor of Ipswich Councillor Bill Quinton and Bupa’s Global director of dementia care Professor Graham Stokes, officially opened the centre, which has been developed at Bupa’s Anglesea Heights Nursing Home.
They were joined at the opening event by VIPs including Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, and Baroness Stowell, Leader of the House of Lords, along with residents of the home and their families, staff, local healthcare professionals, and supporters of people living with dementia.
Known as the Dementia HUB, the centre aims to share the care home’s dementia expertise more widely in the community, and provide a safe and welcoming place where anyone from the local area can share knowledge and experience, meet other people, and learn more about dementia from guest speakers and other experts.
Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2011 Feb; 26(1): 10-28
Mittal V, Kurup L, Williamson D, Muralee S, Tampi RR
Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) are increasingly recognized as a major risk factor for caregiver burden, institutionalization, greater impairment in activities of daily living (ADLs), more rapid cognitive decline, and a poorer quality of life. BPSD contribute significantly to the direct and indirect costs of caring for patients with dementia even after adjusting for the severity of cognitive impairment and other co-morbidities. Research on these symptoms has indicated a complex interplay between the biological, psychological and social factors involved in the disease process. Although some psychotropic medications have shown modest efficacy in the treatment of these behaviors, their use has generated controversy due to increasing recognition of the side effects of these medications especially the antipsychotic medications. In this review, we examine the risk of cerebrovascular adverse events (CVAEs) and death with antipsychotic medications when used to treat elderly patients with dementia.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An elderly woman who suffers from dementia was robbed by nurses caring for her in her home, according to police.
The country is beginning to educate the public and the medical community about dementia, and big cities are making plans to build new nursing homes.