Researchers, from the University of Kentucky’s Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, asked 48 men and women with early dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) questions about their quality of life and personal outlook following diagnosis.
The so-called ‘Silver Lining Questionnaire’ was used to measure the degree to which people with an early dementia diagnosis felt their illness had a positive impact on their lives.
Almost half the respondents returned positive scores for the questions which covered issues such as their appreciation and acceptance of life.
For more on this study, which was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto, go to the University of Kentucky News
A recently published study has investigated the diagnostic test accuracy of two informant tools when used to diagnose dementia in patients with delirium.
It is common for older hospital patients to have both dementia and delirium; the latter is often undiagnosed as the delirium interferes with the use of cognitive testing for diagnosing dementia.
The study cites the need for new tests given the confounding effect of delirium.
The tools tested were the IQCODE-SF and the AD8 (when used for diagnosing DSM-IV dementia).
As part of the study, on admission to hospital, people aged over 70 were assessed for the presence of dementia using the short form of the Informant Questionnaire of Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE-SF) and Alzheimer’s Disease 8 (AD8).
The conclusions drawn from the results were that the IQCODE-SF and AD8 are sensitive and specific tools, able to detect prior dementia in older people with delirium. The authors suggest that the routine use of either tool in practice could improve the recognition and subsequent management of those with dementia.
Jackson, T. A., MacLullich, A. M. J., Gladman, J. R. F., Lord, J. M., and Sheehan, B. (2016) ‘Diagnostic test accuracy of informant-based tools to diagnose dementia in older hospital patients with delirium: a prospective cohort study’, Age and Ageing, pp. 45: 505-511.
Research conducted by the George Institute for Global Health suggests that high blood pressure could significantly raise the risk of developing vascular dementia.
The medical records of 4.28 million people in the UK were analysed in this 7 year study. Heightened blood pressure was linked to a 62 per cent higher risk of vascular dementia between the ages of 30-50. There was a 26 per cent higher risk at age 51-70.
Blood vessels in the brain are damaged and narrowed over time due to high blood pressure.
Professor Rahimi, deputy director of The George Institute UK, said: “Our results suggest that lowering blood pressure, either by exercise, diet or blood pressure lowering drugs, could reduce the risk of vascular dementia.”
The British Journal of Community Nursing has just published a peer-reviewed article which explores the role of the community nurse in family-centred care for patients with dementia.
The authors argue that national policy and strategy have helped to raise awareness of dementia however families living with dementia still struggle to find information and support.
The paper uses case studies to discuss three scenarios commonly raised by family carers and people with dementia:
- seeking help and support at the point of seeking diagnosis
- knowing the ‘right time’ to seek help and advice
- when symptomatic changes affect well-being and relationships
The article indicates how the community nurse can be central to supporting people with dementia and their families to live well in their own communities.
Also provided is a list of charities and other sources that help carers of people with dementia.
Dening, K, & Hibberd, P (2016), ‘Exploring the community nurse role in family-centred care for patients with dementia’, British Journal Of Community Nursing, 21, 4, pp. 198-202 5p, CINAHL with Full Text, EBSCOhost
The new dementia profile tool, made available online by Public Health England (PHE), provides information about dementia by geographical area.
Profiles have been created for Clinical Commissioning Group and Local Authority geographies.
The data available on dementia in each profile is divided into six domains:
- Preventing well
- Diagnosing well
- Living well
- Supporting well
- Dying well
Public Health England created this resource to give local commissioners and providers the data they need to benchmark their current practice against other CCGs, local authorities and national figures.
Data and metadata is available online and as a download.
For further information, click here: http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile-group/mental-health/profile/dementia
The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published statistics on dementia. These statistics focus on five strategic aspects of dementia care:
- Post-Diagnostic Support.
- Living Well With Dementia.
- Mortality Associated With Dementia.
- Diagnosed prevalence increased from 643 per 100,000 in April 2014 to 755 per 100,000 in December 2015, which is 423,000 diagnoses out of 56.0m registered patients.
- 39 per cent of carers spent 100 or more hours each week looking after or caring for a person with dementia, with 52 per cent spending 50 hours or more per week.
Dementia and mortality
For more information visit the HSCIC website.
Click here to read the full report.
The University of Birmingham are offering a free online course aimed at carers looking after family members with dementia or professionals working with people with dementia.
The course aims to develop the skills needed to manage challenging behaviour such as restlessness, agitation and communication difficulties, which can cause carers high levels of stress and burden. The course uses case studies to explore challenging behaviours and find out how other carers manage them both at home and in care settings. Specific interventions and a person-centred approach is used, particularly focusing on de-escalation skills.
For more information please visit the University of Birmingham’s website