Tag Archives: Living Well

Eating Behaviour Disturbance in Frontotemporal Dementia


The JAMA Neurology journal published an article and the studies objective was to understand the exact prevalence, severity, and underlying biological mechanisms of abnormal eating behaviors that are common in patients with frontotemporal dementia.

Forty-nine patients with dementia were recruited, and their eating behaviour was compared with that of 25 healthy controls. The study was conducted from November 1, 2013, through May 31, 2015, and data analysed from June 1 to August 31, 2015. The mean ages of patients involved ranged from 62 (8.3) to 66 (8.4) years.

Voxel-based morphometry analysis of whole-brain 3-T high-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine the gray matter density changes across groups and their relations to eating behaviors.

Concluding that delineating the neural networks involved in mediating these changes in eating behavior may enable treatment of these features in patients with complex medical needs and aid in our understanding of structures that control eating behavior in patients with FTD and healthy individuals.

Ahmed, R. M., Irish, M., Henning, E., Dermody, N., Bartley, L., Kiernan, M. C., … Hodges, J. R. (2016). Assessment of eating behavior disturbance and associated neural networks in Frontotemporal dementia. JAMA Neurology, 73(3), 282. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.4478



Twiddlemitts provide sensory stimulation for people with dementia


Twiddlemitts are being used to provide sensory stimulation to patients who are experiencing the more advanced stages of dementia.

The benefits of providing sensory stimulation at this point can be enormous. The patients’ mood is improved and positive behaviours are encouraged.

The twiddlemitts can help individuals with dementia to relax and achieve or maintain a state of well-being.

Twiddlemitts, or twiddlemuffs, are handknitted tubes decorated with zips, pendants, beads etc.

Volunteers have set up social groups to make twiddlemitts so they not only provide stimulation for those with dementia, they provide social interaction for a wider range of people.



Picture courtesy of Jane Dickson:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cluttercup/25666441942/in/photolist-EQcbV3-Ek2CTJ-F74ZXb-FfrvNh-EknzH4-F74dZ5-Ek2FNS-Ekomrx-Ek3hgj-F9m7GZ-EknG2M-bthRaT-bthR9a-bthRat-bthR4v-bthShv-bthRbT-bthR7p-bthS1n-bthReV-bs8bN6-bthR4D-F9kXJt-F9m54H-F757oh-bthSir-bs8bmp-bthRd4-bthR5k-bthRci-bthR5P-bs8e2D-bs8e24-bs8e3n/

The community nurse role in family-centred care of people with dementia

Community nurse 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

New ‘healthy’ towns to be built in England to address problems of dementia and obesity


The NHS England Healthy New Towns programme will be working alongside ten housing developments across the country.

Consideration will be given to how sites can redesign local health and care services to extend independent living arrangements for older people.

Among the approaches being investigated are digitally enabled local health services that share physical infrastructure and staff with schools and community groups.

The new ‘healthy towns’ are intended to establish a blueprint for other communities to follow.

For more information, go to the NHS England site.

Siddique, Haroon (2016) ‘Ten new ‘healthy’ towns to be built in England’ The Guardian, 1st March [Online]. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/mar/01/ten-new-healthy-towns-to-be-built-in-england

Public Health England launches online dementia profile tool

Dementia profile

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:

  • Prevalence
  • 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 

Focus on dementia – January 2016

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published statistics on dementia. These statistics focus on five strategic aspects of dementia care:

  1. Prevention.
  2. Diagnosis.
  3. Post-Diagnostic Support.
  4. Living Well With Dementia.
  5. Mortality Associated With Dementia.

Preventing well

  • There is evidence that some factors – particularly around cardiovascular risk – can impact on the risk of developing dementia. To have their greatest impact on reducing dementia risk these factors should be controlled throughout middle age (45-64).

Diagnosing well

  • 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.

Supporting well

  • 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.

Living well

  • Looking at all records from April 2012 to March 2015;
    • The median time for progression between ‘moderate need’ and ‘high need’ is 3 years and 2 months.
    • The median time for progression between ‘high need’ and ‘high physical need of engagement’ is 2 years and 9 months.

Dementia and mortality

  • The results of the survival analysis provide a median survival time of 3 years 6 months, from when patients are first assessed as having ‘cognitive impairment or dementia at moderate need’.

For more information visit the HSCIC website.

Click here to read the full report.

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Free online course: Understanding and Managing Challenging Behaviour


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