Friday, 1 August 2014

Dementia sufferers despair as care home ordered to remove art because it is a 'fire risk'

I read this in the news press yesterday, and wondered whether these people really know anything about Dementia.

To me this is red tape which has gone too far and this needs to be looked at again. The reason I say this is, why is it so bad for care homes to have pictures on a wall, when art galleries, libraries, and other public places, do it all of the time and no one says anything about it.

Are these people saying that every home with pictures on the wall are fire hazards, and if so why has it never been said before

I think that its time to look at all fire and health and safety regulations again, and try to remove some of the stupidity we see and hear every day
It is clear to me as someone who used to do health and safety as my job as an engineer that this work is now being done by people who have little or no real knowledge of real life, and this must be sorted out because the UK is rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the world with every little idiot telling us what we can and cannot do even though they have no real idea themselves

  A CARE home has been turned into a prison by fire safety zealots, angry healthcare workers have claimed.

A care home for dementia suffers have been ordered to remove art from their wallsA care said dementia residents have been left distressed after they were ordered to remove art[ROSS PARRY]
Dementia sufferers at the home have been left "severely distressed" after bosses were ordered to remove all art on their walls as it was a "fire risk".

The pioneering nursing home was one of the first in the UK to use paintings to inspire, calm and motivate residents coping with end-stage Alzheimer's.

But they were told by a fire inspector to take down the art leaving elderly residents so upset that some have refused to eat their meals.

Other dementia sufferers have started wandering the corridors of The Clipstone Hall Residential Care Home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire aimlessly.

Care home manager Linda Britain, 38, said: "At the end of the day we are a home, not an institution or a hospital, and now it feels more like a prison."
The care home used art to help calm residentsThe care home uses paintings to held calm residents with end-stage Alzheimer's [ROSS PARRY]
The people who go into these places are going in there to die and if their last few months can be made a little happier then that should be the priority
Volunteer Joyce Banbury
Staff at the nursing home had worked with the Alzheimer's Society to pioneer the art-based treatment following a campaign from relatives.

All the displays, which were devised by dementia experts, could have been touched by residents as they walked the corridors.

But employees said the formerly bright and cheerful atmosphere has completely changed - and it is distressing residents.

Ms Britain said: "People who suffer from dementia tend to walk up and down corridors aimlessly, in a world of their own, and it can be very difficult for staff to interact with them.

"But having these visual aids, as well as the textured pieces, means staff can bring residents out of their shell by asking them questions, or asking them to describe things."

Ms Britain said removing the art from the walls has had a "devastating impact" on elderly residents.

She explained that one woman used to suffer anxiety attacks when she was asked to enter an area full of people but the paintings helped calm her down.
Some dementia sufferers have refused to eat after the art was removedLinda Britain and Diane Lilliman from Clipstone Hall Residential Care Home [ROSS PARRY]
Ms Britain said within 20 minutes the art had helped remove her anxiety but now the paintings have been removed she stays tense for up to three hours.

She said another resident cries every night now the walls are bare because she thinks the care home has been burgled.

Joyce Banbury, 62, visited her 92-year-old mother Annie Addis at the care home until she died a year ago and now volunteers at Clipstone Hall.

She said: "The place looks absolutely awful now.

"The people who go into these places are going in there to die and if their last few months can be made a little happier then that should be the priority.

"We had a meeting with the fire inspector last week and he really wouldn't listen - it just makes you think that he has got it in for us for some reason."
The care home for dementia sufferers without paintings on the wallBosses said the care home now looks like a prison without the paintings [ROSS PARRY]
Ms Britain added Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue's reasons for ordering to remove the art has not been explained in a way that they fully understood.

She said: "They just told us that, as the corridors were escape routes, they had to be 'sterile'.

"Their concern was not that the displays would catch on fire, but that increased heat could cause more smoke from the displays.

"But the spray that treated the displays guarantees four hours of fire and smoke resilience - which is over three hours longer than the fire doors can offer, so it seems pointless to me.

"We've had these displays up for four years now and there's never been a problem with it before."
A selection of the art removed from the care homeA selection of the art removed from the care home [ROSS PARRY]
Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said he has written to Nottinghamshire's chief fire officer asking him to over-rule the decision.

He said: "I went to look around the home quite recently and one of the things they are really proud of is the artwork on the walls.

"It's not just that it looks nice, it's really important for the residents - it' s the familiarity of the images that are genuinely beneficial.

"What we have is an overly enthusiastic member of staff at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue who hasn't got the balance right."

The Alzheimer's Society said it was "disappointing" the art had been removed from the care home.

George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, said: "It is disappointing that the art work has been removed. 

"Fire safety and a vibrant and engaging care environment are both important issues, but in this case they haven’t gone hand-in-hand.
"Reminiscence, in the form of pictures or other visual aids, can be a valuable tool for communication and engagement with someone with dementia, as well as giving that homely feel.

"Hopefully a compromise can be found that enables residents to continue art-based activities whilst not increasing any potential fire risk."
A picture of the Queen among the art removed from the walls at the care homeThe Alzheimer's Society said it was "disappointing" the art had been removed from the care home [ROSS PARRY]
Vic McMillen, who is in charge of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue's fire protection team, added: "All business owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises, and all those who use them, are protected from fire.

"We are happy to work with any business owner to help them interpret the current guidance so they can continue providing stimulating and comfortable surroundings without comprising people's safety."

Thursday, 31 July 2014

North East dementia report set to become blueprint for national policy

 Taken from the Newcastle Journal Yesterday

North East dementia report set to become blueprint for national policy


An in-depth study into dementia care in the North East is set to become a blueprint for future government policy

North East dementia report set to become blueprint for national policy

An in-depth study into dementia care in the North East will become a blueprint for future Government policy after the Prime Minister urged an increase in funding for research and treatment into the disease.

The most comprehensive report into dementia care in the region to date has been published by the Northern Rock Foundation and coincides with the end of a five-year national dementia strategy from central Government.

The study, which has been produced with the North East Dementia Alliance, looks set to provide a template to inform regional as well as national policy in the provision of care and services for people with dementia.

It reveals that there are 34,000 people in the North East with some form of dementia; a figure that is anticipated to double to 51,000 by 2030.

The prevalence of dementia in the North East is higher than the national rate of 569 people per 100,000, with Durham and Northumberland home to the largest number of sufferers.

While the report’s author Debbie Smith found the region scored above the national average in diagnosing the condition, she recommended more be done to raise public awareness of the condition.
“As a nation we’re living longer and we are seeing an increased number of dementia cases,” she said. “More research, improving the diagnosis rate and better care and support is vital. Just as important are the changes we need to make as a society to tackle stigma and increase understanding.

“We have world class dementia research in the region and it is important that this benefits those who need it.

“The report also illustrates how complex health and social care can be for people to navigate and so it is critical that we have a joined-up approach to commissioning and providing the best possible services and support for people with dementia and their families to have the best possible quality of life.”
Among the report’s other findings was the need for further work to support people with dementia to live in their own homes and for research currently being undertaken in the region to be translated into practice by dementia groups and clinicians.

Penny Wilkinson, chief executive at Northern Rock Foundation, said: “Over the years the foundation has played a vital role in funding in-depth research on a variety of issues and this has been crucial in ensuring that the right decisions are made for the right reasons by the right people.

“Dementia is not only a health issue, it is a social one and that’s why the report and the Government’s pledge to secure investment for research are not just timely, they are vital.”

Alzheimer’s Society regional operations manager Hazel Cuthbertson, who is based in Scotswood, Newcastle, said: “This report clearly demonstrates that genuine progress is being made in terms of diagnosis rates which is to be warmly welcomed because people who are living with dementia have a right to know they have the condition.

“This is encouraging because it shows we are moving in the right direction in terms of making our communities here in the North East places where people with dementia can live well but more needs to be done to ensure that their voices are heard and that dementia awareness is raised among people of all ages so we get things right in the future.”

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Its time to reclaim our Health Service

We are hearing stories on a daily basis about the National Health Service being in a mess and being close to failing, yet this can be corrected if a little thought was put into it, and politicians worked together in a Cross Party Group, instead of one side changing the rules each time they come to power.

The only way to resolve these issues is for all parties to work together for the benefit of the people of this country, instead of allowing commercial and Foreign companies to take control.

There are far too many private companies getting involved with our health service, with one view, and that is to make as much money as they can at our expense. This government is not doing anything to stop this, possibly because they may well have financial links, and could be making money already at our expense.

This is the National Health Service and not a private business

There are far too many private jobs being done on the health service now, and its obvious that the service can no longer cope, so changes need to be brought in before its too late.

There are also far too many people abusing the system these days and this needs to stop. This includes people coming into the country for free treatment, when they should be paying too and this needs to be looked.

But when we look these days we are always seeing stories of ladies going in for breast implants etc which  are not important, people getting nose jobs done which are only to make someone look better, but let's be honest about this, if it's not needed as the result of an accident etc, it should be paid for privately.

It's not the first time managers have allowed these things to go through yet, people wanting treatment for cancer etc, are told to buy their own medication because the health service cannot afford it.

If this happened in a private business these managers would be sacked, ans so they should

By the same token every week we hear of people getting drunk, needing an ambulance and hospital treatment. Surely they should be given the bill because this is self inflicted, these people are just abusing a system which is overloaded, and many become abusive to hospital staff.

What happened to the days when people accepted their bodies and got on with life. I could understand them wanting to change if they had birth defects, but changing because they don't like the size of their breasts or nose etc, is wrong and should not be subsidised by the public

Millions of pounds is wasted on these drunks every week and it's very wrong, we should go back to the old days when drunks were put in a police cell for the night, and sometimes got charged with being drunk. These people soon stopped getting drunk because they knew full well what would happen

However one of the major faults these days is that the health service is run by management which is too top heavy, so we should go back to the days when the service was run by qualified health service staff, ie doctors and matrons etc all run with a board who were accountable to the patients.

These days if a hospital is in the news for the wrong reason, guess who is never mentioned, the one person who is responsible for running the place the "Chief Executive", yet they are paid £150-000 plus and get golden handshakes when they leave, or are forced to leave because they have failed to run the hospital properly

Having worked in the health service many years ago when the boards with matrons and doctors ran a hospitals,  I was horrified when Chief Executives were brought in because I said things would get worse, and here we are.

We should go back to these old ways of running this service, where everyone in the health service was accountable from the cleaners up to the board and no golden hand shakes were given out for failure. If you failed you got the sack.

It's now time to change the health service and bring back to old principals, where there were very few infections because hospitals were spotlessly clean, and everyone had high standards. What is more there was no government red tape, because it was and is not needed if everyone does their job properly in the first place.

But before we can do that we need to change government attitudes towards our national health service, to stop interference, money wasting and wholesale privatisation.
I may have dementia but I can see this is heading for total disaster and it has to be stopped now before its all sold off and we end up paying for basic treatment in the future 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Bring back any memories?

 Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favourite 'fast food' when you were growing up?'
'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him.
'All the food was slow.'

'C'mon, seriously.. Where did you eat?'
'It was a place called 'home,'' I explained.
'Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate, I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'

By this time, the lad was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I'd figured his system could have handled it:

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore jeans, set foot on a golf course, travelled out of the country or had a credit card.

My parents never drove me to school. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 10.
It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at 10 pm, after playing the national anthem and epilogue; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. And there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people...

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home... but milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers -- My brother delivered a newspaper, seven days a week.  He had to get up at 6AM every morning. 


Film stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the films. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or almost anything offensive.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?

MEMORIES from a friend:
My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle.   In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it...    I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea.   She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something.   I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with because we didn't have steam irons.   Man, I am old.

How many do you remember?
Headlight dip-switches on the floor of the car.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Trouser leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.

Soldering irons you heated on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn indicators.

Older Than Dirt Quiz:
Count all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about.
Ratings at the bottom.

1. Sweet cigarettes
2. Coffee shops with juke
3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles
4. Party lines on the telephone
 5. Newsreels before the movie
6. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning.. (There were only 2 channels [if you were fortunate])
7.  Peashooters
8.. 33 rpm records
9. 45 RPM records
10.78 RPM records
11. Hi-fi's
12. Metal ice trays with levers
13. Blue flashbulb
14. Cork popguns
15. Wash tub wringers
16. Spud guns
17. Making your own bow and arrows
18. Going out to play and going home at 'meal time'

If you remembered 0-3 = you're still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-11 = Don't tell your age
If you remembered 12-15 = You're positively ancient!

I must be 'positively ancient' but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

Don't forget to pass this along!!
Especially to all your really
 OLD friends.... I just did!!!!!!!!!

(PS. I used a large type face so you could read it easily)