Great News! Life Expectancy Keeps on Rising.


This week Imperial College London and the World Health Organization released a report analysed lifespans in 35 industrialised countries which predicted that all the countries would see people living longer by 2030 and the gap between men and women would also start to close. Between 2015 and 2030, life expectancy in the UK is expected to go from 79 to 82 for men and from 83 to 85 for women, but South Korea has been highlighted as the country where women will be the first in the world to have an average life expectancy above 90.By contrast, the US performs poorly and is on course to have the lowest life expectancy of rich countries by 2030.The study predicts an average age of 80 for men and 83 for women – roughly the same state Mexico and Croatia will have achieved. As the authors state the USA is very unequal to an extent that whole national performance is affected, notably it is the only country without universal health insurance. The study was published in the Lancet Future Life Expectancy . There is an interview with the author on the BBC news website at BBC Health

Also this week the British Geriatric Society  Blog looks at a recent paper co-authored by Fátima Brañas a consultant geriatrician from Madrid whose team has been looking at Frailty and physical function in older HIV-infected adults. Nowadays, over half of people infected with HIV are older than fifty years. Like other marginalised groups biologically they are older, as accelerated ageing in this population has been demonstrated. The team suggest that the management of HIV-infected patients has to change as a consequence of their rising frailty. If you want to know more you can read the blog and access the paper at BGS Blog

I’m Just a Care Home Nurse…

How many times have you heard people say “Oh … you’re just Care Home Nurse…” almost disdainfully. Well, I think this week we should try and redress that balance and see what care Home Nurses think about that and what they really do.

So I’ll not write my opinion, which I hope is pretty clear from anyone who has had put up with a rant in class but let us hear it from the Care Home Nurses themselves.

So this week the Nursing Times released an opinion piece with the Title I am just a care home nurse which you can click on and read here. Written by Mary Rabbitte, a unit care manager I think this sums up the feelings of many and it is about time our views changed, particularly since we are facing a very uncertain future  (see this 2014 RCN Report)

On a similar theme, Derek T Barron formerly the Associate Nurse Director/Lead Nurse in Ayrshire and now the Director of Care for the Erskine Group has written this week’s piece for Let’s Talk About Dementia, the Alzheimer Scotland Blog. In it, he talks about his experiences within his new role and the care being delivered at Erskine and his plans for change. Go and see what can be achieved by just care home nurses.

Let’s talk about … Care Homes.

Also came across this, this week which is a new campaign launched in Australia called the Lantern project. The video is priceless!

If you want to know more about the project and perhaps start something similar here go to Lantern Project; Australia

Beti & David: Lost for Words

Watch out next week for a programme on BBC Wales called Beti and David: Lost for Words

In this programme about Beti George who cares for her partner David Parry-Jones – an iconic broadcaster once dubbed ‘the voice of Welsh rugby’ talk about the challenges and frustrations facing thousands of carers across Wales questioning how we support dementia carers.  The programme features some of the staff here at UWS, Margaret Brown, Dr Barbara Sharpe, Anna Waugh, Janice Stewart [a link worker from Lanarkshire], and Helen Regan [a local carer]. It’s on BBC Wales on Monday at 9 pm but will be available on iPlayer at the link given after this. The clips on the site at the moment will give you an idea of what the programme contains and of course we will archive it later.

If you live in the UK and have been watching the BBC News at all this week there has been a series of stories released as part of their series called NHS Health Check. While the attention is welcome most of the stories have been very negative highlighting the problems in the system without mentioning the great work done. There has been very little said about the fact that we have fewer doctors per capita than all of Europe (bar Poland and Romania), we spend less per GDP than most other European countries and we have fewer hospital beds per capita which might explain much of the “Crisis”. See ECHI 2015


So from the BBC Series here are a few positive stories 5 Examples of Innovation in the UK  every one of which has a positive effect on the lives of older people.

‘Our GP’ and Congratulations Margaret


Congratulations to Margaret Callaghan from our final year Masters in Gerontology and Later Life Programme on the publication of her article Creating Positive Experiences for People Living with Dementia in Care Homes which was published in “Nursing Older People” yesterday.  The article was written with support given by her supervisor Dr Louise Ritchie. You can access the article at the following website but to download it you need to be an RCNi account holder (Sorry).

If you wait a week or two you might be able to ask Louise or Margaret for a copy.

Other things to note this week. There is a pioneering project being conducted by Digital Health and care Scotland and the ALLIANCE called  ‘Our GP’. The project aims to ‘co-design’ future digital GP services. An important first step in this process was the launch of a showcase website on the 1st of February which you can view at OUR GP Website

You can access the website from any device, at any time between 1 and 16 February 2017. If you do take the survey and leave your views to help shape a new service across Scotland.

If you have interest in older people’s pain management and many of you will, you may also want take a look at the following Blog post from the British Geriatric Society. A New Holistic Approach To Pain Management in Older People