Friday, 24 October 2014

Talking To Graduate Nurses

Today I had the honour to go and speak to graduate nurses at Northumbria University about Living well with Dementia.

This was the third of three sessions this term, and its amazing the different response you get in different sessions

The first was slightly subdued, partly I suppose because its not a subject that everyone wants to learn about.

The second got more response and some questions, but today for some reason, I seemed to get a response that was unexpected and difficult to cope with.

This was because a few people were in tears, and these days I find it hard when a person cries,  but they must have really understood the problems we undertake daily.

I am not complaining about these people crying, because there are times when this illness reduces me to tears when things become difficult, to do or understand

We had lots of questions at the end, and as my wife said there were so many questions, that it could have gone on for longer, but someone else was following us, and its unfair to hold things up.

I have been to this University on a number of occasions during the last few years, doing very similar talks, and it never gets any easier, partly because, I know that even over the last year, I have lost control over so much.

Its been so nice being able to talk about this illness, but these days I am more selective about the things I talk about, because it can be very sad and hurtful, when I think about the Job and  hobbies etc, that I have lost through my memory, or they have simply become too dangerous to do any longer.

I hope to be able to do this for a little longer, but I know that when it all becomes too difficult, I have achieved something in as much, that I have been able to tell Nurses and lecturers, what our life is live, and possibly how they can help.

My Grammar and spelling are sometimes lost these days, unless I use spell check, and I still use voice activated software to write my presentations which are all written in font size 16, so that I can follow what I have written

Life can be hard, but today I felt as if I had won the lottery these people are so nice to talk too

I sometimes feel very nervous giving presentations, but at this University, I feel relaxed and at home

Thank you so much


Patients blast £55 dementia diagnosis fee

Patients blast £55 dementia diagnosis fee

Elderly care: A plan to pay GPs to diagnose dementia has been criticised. Below, Dr Amanda Thornton
Elderly care: A plan to pay GPs to diagnose dementia has been criticised. Below, Dr Amanda Thornton
A scheme aimed at boosting dementia diagnosis rates by paying GPs £55 for every patient they diagnose has come under fire.

Under the NHS England scheme, doctors would get the cash for every extra patient on their dementia register next March, compared to September just gone.
But the scheme has been criticised by the Patients Association as a ‘distortion of good medical practice’ and has also been given the thumbs down by the Royal College of GPs and the British Medical Association.
And John Davies-Allen, from Thornton, who was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, said he was “not happy about” the plan.
Mr Davies-Allen, 53, said he agreed more needed to be done to improve diagnosis of the condition and said he had been diagnosed at the Mount View Memory Clinic in Fleetwood after his GP missed signs including problems with this balance.
But he said paying GPs was not the way to go.
“It should be standard practice to diagnose people and GPs should not have to be paid extra,” said the dad of one. “I’m worried this could lead to GPs mis-diagnosing people just to get the money.
“When you get that diagnosis your whole life changes so if that diagnosis turns out to be wrong that really isn’t going to be very nice for the person.”
Fewer than half the estimated 800,000 people in the UK with dementia have received a formal diagnosis, with NHS England looking to raise that proportion to two-thirds by next year.
Under the plans, an extra £5m is being provided to help boost efforts to identify people with dementia to enable support to be offered to them.
Dr Steve Parr-Burman, from North Shore Surgery in Blackpool, insisted the £55 payment would go back into improving diagnosis rates.
“We’re not going to use it to increase our pay and we won’t be spending it on the golf course or on other leisure activities,” he said.
“It will be ploughed back into the practice and into covering the costs of improving diagnosis.
“I can see what people are saying about it being part of our job, but we have to diagnose lots of conditions and we will now have to actively look for patients to screen for dementia. The £55 payments may not even cover the costs of doing this.”
Dr Parr-Burman said fears the scheme would result in patients being mis-diagnosed were “nonsense”.
“We are highly ethical and we are not going to label someone as having dementia for £55, it’s a nonsense.
“GPs have a really complicated reimbursement system and we already get paid for screening patients for things like asthma and stroke.”
Dr Amanda Thornton, clinical director for adult community services at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, who works at Bloomfield Surgery, said: “Ensuring an early yet accurate diagnosis of dementia is really important and making sure that people have the appropriate access to treatment can have a real impact on so many lives.”
The trust runs Memory Assessment Services which make assessments, offer treatment and therapy, and put on memory management groups.
Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s national director for long term conditions, said: “Dementia can be devastating both for individuals and their families.
“We know that more needs to be done across the health service to ensure that people living with dementia are identified so that they can get the tailored care and support they need.
“This additional investment is part of a larger range of measures to support GPs in their work tackling dementia.”

Thursday, 23 October 2014

New brain game from BUPA

I have been asked to trial a new brain game, and ask others who have this illness to try it and give their views.
The game was designed by staff at BUPA a private but highly respected health firm in the UK.

I tried this game and confess that I struggled with it, but I did wonder if that's my brain now.
Not only does it test your brain, but it also tests your reactions and eyesight, as the squares appear to move at times , so you need to keep track of them.

I do feel that this will catch on when it's been launched, as brain training games have helped me over the last few years.

I have attached the email so that you can get a better idea of the work BUPA are doing

I have attached the link to the Websight, but if the link does not work, please do a search for it on the computers top search bar.

Hope you don't mind me getting in touch out of the blue - I'm emailing from Bupa  with news of a game we're launching which I thought might be of interest given your blog focuses on living with dementia.

In short, we've developed a memory game with a twist, designed to give users a sense of the confusion and disorientation that can come with living with dementia.

The aim of our game is to match cards to their pairs in the allotted time, however as time goes on, the cards start to move and become gradually more blurred making it increasingly difficult to complete. The idea is that users will feel frustrated and confused, reflecting how people with dementia often feel.

By 2025 it is predicted that more than one million people will have dementia. With our game we hope to raise awareness of the condition and give users a small insight into the some of the feelings those living with dementia can experience.

The game launches on the 15th October, so this would be a sneak preview for you and your readers. You can share it letting users know of the twist, or keep it under wraps so they only find out at the end - up to you. You can play the game here

Additionally, we also have some survey stats around 'memory blots' - those moments we can all experience where we lose our keys or wonder what we went upstairs for, but for people living with dementia, can be a daily occurrence. Do let me know if these might be of interest and I'd be happy to share these or any further info. And of course, if this isn't your bag, then let me know and I'll hold off getting in touch again.

 Please feel free to try this and post your comments back to me where they will be added at the bottom

Doctors to be paid more to diagnose dementia patients

Yesterday we heard that the government were going to pay family doctors £55 for every patient they diagnosed with dementia.
This has caused many people to complain about this

For one reason they were paid they were paid to diagnose people a few years ago, and now they are being paid yet again for something which many regard as nothing more than bribery.

Surely these doctors should be qualified to diagnose people as a matter of coarse without extra payment. 

It has also been pointed out that some may try to raise the money by mis diagnosing patients, something which is causing concern among some people who have the illness.

When I was working as an engineer, I knew my job role, and never got extra money for doing my normal job so why should these people. 

Many doctors simply don't understand or know anything about dementia, many simply tell the patient that they are stressed or depressed, when they have no idea what he person is going through.

So please Mr Cameron stop using Dementia patients to raise your profile, because many of this view this as another government gimmick. 
And nothing else.