Frailty Resources

age-2785015_960_720Apologies to my MSc in Gerontology students first; because a number of them have just finished their Frailty in Older People Module. So this is too late to help them with their assignment. However, it’s still useful to know its here.

The journal “Age and Ageing” have released a Virtual Edition called “Frailty” that covers many of the main issues in Frailty,  including describing the condition conceptually, reporting its epidemiology, contrasting different options for clinical assessment, detailing the adverse outcomes of frailty in older subjects and some insights into what interventions might improve outcomes for frail older people (and their carers). They have made them available on-line. To have a look at what you can access and to learn a bit more about this important topic CLICK HERE.

Looking forward to next Thursday when Atul Gwande is joining a QI Connect Webinar hosted by Healthcare Improvement Scotland. If you don’t know who Atul Gwande is the I would have a look and listen to these. The Reith Lectures 2014

If you want to join the webinar go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/qi-connect-atul-gawande-tickets-42419687427

Advertisements

What about Home Adaptations? and Frailty at Home.

Picture1

This week Myself, Dr Louise Ritchie (@Lourit) and Dr Margaret Brown (@owlbroon) wrote the Blog piece for “Lets Talk About Dementia” a blog hosted and supported by Alzheimer Scotland and led by allied health professionals. Their blog shares the work and practice of the allied health professionals in relation to dementia care. It offers advice for people living with dementia, their carers, partners and families. It is also a great source of information for all health and social care professionals. So our piece published on it about Housing and Dementia in Scotland can be found HERE

If you have a particular interest in ageing well in place  you might also want to look at the Centre for Better Ageing Report on the Role of Home Adaptations on Improving Later Life which you can find at their page on  Living in a suitable home and neighbourhood

Lastly this week one of my UWS Colleagues Susie Gamble and Brendan Martin, Managing Director, Public World and Buurtzorg, Britain & Ireland and Barbara McFadzean, District Nursing Sister/Queen’s Nurse, Crosshouse, Ayrshire are leading an International Foundation for Integrated Care Scotland Webinar next week on Wednesday 18th April 2018 between 12 pm-1pm.   They will be discussing the role of the District Nurse in managing people with frailty in the community. There is some further information on the site below, along with a link to register for the Webinar.

https://integratedcarefoundation.org/events/webinar-series-integrated-care-matters-series-2-2

The webinar will be recorded and will be at the IFIC site afterwards to listen to.

Worldwide, Older People’s Rights Continue to be Denied

age_positive_badge

In a new report published by  HelpAge International launched to coincide with World Health Day 2018 (which is tomorrow, 7th of April 2018) older people explore their right to be able to make their own decisions and live their lives according to their own values and preferences. The report called Freedom to Decide for Ourselves,  brings together the findings from a consultation with 450 older people in 24 countries to find out their perspectives on their rights to autonomy and independence, long-term care and palliative care.

Yet again this report has found that as people age, the autonomy and independence they enjoyed earlier in their lives is often denied by the negative, ageist attitudes of those who believe older women and men are unable to make their own decisions, or disregard their choices when they do.

Shockingly the reported ageism was especially evident in older people’s health and socila care. Many participants said there was a lack of access to comprehensive long-term care and support services within their communities or, if they existed, the cost makes them unaffordable to everyone who isn’t on a high income. This leaves families as the only providers and when this is the case it is often at the cost of an older person’s control over their care.

HelpAge International are calling for a UN convention to protect older people’s rights and have a campaign called Age Demands Action which is working to achieve this goal.  Why not add your voice as they suggest!

Ireland has a Say No To Ageism Week. Seems like a good idea to me. This year it’s June 4th to 8th 2018!

So What Does “…to Live Well with Dementia” Mean?

Firstly, Happy Easter to you all and I hope you are enjoying a great weekend, even if it is somewhat chilly here in Scotland.

love-old-people-the-heart-of-pension-160936

Last month quite quietly I think Age Concern published a new report entitled “Promising Approaches to Living Well with Dementia” which sets out to illustrate what it might means to live well with dementia in the UK currently. It is full of examples of interesting approaches which are already in place in some parts of this country, but as the report makes clear up and down the country there is a need to reduce the current postcode lottery that exists when you go looking for the help and services highlighted here. Please take a look and be inspired. There is no clear reason why what is discussed here is not available to all.

Good news for nurses in England this week as the new pay deal got another step closer to happening. Will it make you feel more valued? Will it make up for the years of enforced pay restraint? Probably not but at least it’s in line with inflation rather than below inflation. For details of the deal see RCN Nursing Pay  Now, what about everyone else working for the NHS and beyond?

Finally don’t miss your chance to visit the Age and Ageing journal who are currently publishing a free online collection of 15 papers to provide an update on the advances of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in dementia over the last 15 years.

So go and download something interesting to read in between the Hot Cross Buns, Prosecco and Chocolate! 🐣🐰🥂🍾

UK National Pain Guidelines Released

New recommendations to help healthcare professionals recognise and assess levels of pain in older people were published this week in the scientific journal Age and Ageing. The guidelines were developed by the British Geriatrics Society, the British Pain Society, the Royal College of Nursing, in collaboration with researchers at Teesside University, Anglia Ruskin University, University of Bournemouth, Centre for Ageing Better, and the Centre for Positive Ageing. So with all that collaboration, they ought to be good.

When you look at what they are called that view doesn’t change. “The Assessment of Pain in Older People: UK National Guidelines” so I guess they are serious about the need to use them, so they have also made them freely available on the page, not as a download. So time to get reading but be warned they are 70 plus pages long.

It’s worth remembering what Professor Patricia Schofield, the lead contributor to the paper, said on its release

‘Pain in the older population has been largely neglected with the assumption made that it is expected as you get older. This document sets out guidelines for the fundamental first step in the process, which is how we identify and measure pain in this population. Hopefully health and social care professionals will take on board the recommendations and we can move towards more effective pain management in the future.’

This little video gives you a few reasons for getting familiar with the guidance and more to think about.

 

Strengthening the Human Rights of Older People

Guess where I was this week! Murrayfield, but not for the rugby! It was Dementia Champions Cohort 8 & 8.1 and DISL’s Cohort 2  graduation. Proud to be part of the team delivering these important programmes in improving health and social care for people living with dementia. For more details here is a very short video about the graduation.

https://vimeo.com/259668471

So what else has been happening?

Help Age International has called again for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People. Their newest report called “Entitled to the Same Rights” in which older women speak out about their rights shows again that the existing human rights mechanisms fail to adequately protect and promote the rights of older people. They are suggesting that a new international convention on the rights of older people, is the most effective way to make sure that all people enjoy their human rights in older age, and on an equal basis with others. There is more about what they want the Convention to include and you can download the report at http://www.helpage.org/what-we-do/rights/towards-a-convention-on-the-rights-of-older-people/

You can find out more about supporting the campaign for older people by getting involved with their global Age Demands Action campaign.

If you are part of an organisation you can join the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People and work with other agencies seeking to promote and strengthen the rights of older people.

You might also want to find out about the UN’s Open-ended Working Group on Ageing who have been looking at producing a human rights framework for older people since 2010. See https://social.un.org/ageing-working-group/

It’s about time they got a move on!

 

Finally Getting Recognition and a Million Euros!

pressevaeg2018

This week brought recognition to four neuroscientists who received the Lundbeck Foundation’s Brain Prize for their crucial research into Alzheimer’s Disease. The four scientists are Bart De Strooper from Belgium, Michel Goedert from Luxembourg, Christian Haass from Germany and John Hardy from the UK. They have been recognised for their highly specialised studies of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia disorders and are now being awarded the world’s most valuable prize for brain research, the 2018 Brain Prize, worth 1 million euros (approximately 7.5 million Danish kroner).

Together, these four internationally respected neuroscientists have revolutionised our understanding of the harmful changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

So what did they do? This is taken from the Lundbeck Foundation’s own news release about the awards and thank goodness I didn’t have to translate this from Danish.

So let’s start from scratch

German doctor Alois Alzheimer described the disease as far back as 1906, but no-one yet knows what causes its onset. Alzheimer’s primarily affects older people but can be seen in many adults under 65 years of age. Once the disease develops, brain cells gradually die and proteins accumulate both between the brain cells (beta-amyloid plaques) and inside the brain cells (tau tangles). These proteins have a function in the normal brain, but in people living with Alzheimer’s they are produced in an abnormal form, causing them to accumulate which leads to the disease.

So what have the prize winners contributed to our knowledge

“By the nineties, prizewinner Christian Haass already knew that beta-amyloid is not the result of a pathogenic process but that the protein forms naturally from precursors. Haass also identified and described the secretase enzymes which control its formation. Thanks to Haass’ research, we now know that the accumulation of beta-amyloid between brain cells is due to an imbalance in the production and the clearance of amyloid.

Bart De Strooper’s significant contribution was to describe in detail how the secretases are constructed and how they function. This insight led to the development of drugs which either lower production or increase clearance of beta-amyloid.

Michel Goedert has proved that the tau protein is the most important constituent of the tangles we see inside the neurons in Alzheimer’s. Goedert was also instrumental in proving it likely that tau itself plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.

Steen Hasselbalch, Professor at the University of Copenhagen and Alzheimer’s specialist, says: “Goedert’s most recent and very exciting discovery is that tau can spread within the brain. With this discovery, Goedert has shown that Alzheimer’s is more than just an accumulation of beta-amyloid. It has given us valuable new ideas for the development of therapies.”

Finally, John Hardy’s work focuses on the genetic mutations that can cause Alzheimer’s. In rare cases, Alzheimer’s disease is inherited, and there are families in which the risk of contracting the disease from one parent is 50%. Based on his genetic studies, John Hardy and his co-workers were the driving force behind the hypothesis that accumulation of beta-amyloid is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. “

Their research achievements form the basis for development of the drugs that are currently tested as therapies for the disease.

All 4 are going to Denmark on 9 May to receive the Brain Prize at a ceremony in the Royal Danish Library Black Diamonds Building.

There is a bit more about their success on the BBC Health pages at

Alzheimer’s researchers win brain prize