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Sector News 2018

One person develops dementia every 3 minutes. Some common types and their symptoms include;

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia; caused by the build up of proteins in the brain which severs connections between nerve cells. Memory loss, mood swings, agitation, inappropriate behaviour and confusion are key symptoms.

Vascular dementia caused through reduced or hindered blood supply to the brain, this type of dementia is the second most common. Symptoms include; visual and behavioural problems, confusion and concentration lapses.

Lewy Body is often confused with Alzheimer's as its cause is similar. In addition to the symptoms of Alzheimer's, people suffering with Lewy body may also have hallucinations, faints, falls and restless nights.

Fronto-Temporal Dementia named because it affects the frontal and temporal lobes in the brain responsible for hearing and perception. Commonly referred to as picks disease, symptoms include: speech problems, lack of inhibitions, cravings and impulsive behaviours.

The Commission on Dementia and Music has called on local authorities and the NHS to recognise the ‘therapeutic potential of music’, saying it is a ‘powerful but under-used tool’. Music has the potential to minimise the symptoms of dementia  such as agitation, abnormal vocalisation and aggression as well as reducing anxiety and depression.

Sainsbury’s have begun rolling out ‘slow-moving’ checkout lanes throughout the UK, so people with dementia can shop at a “more relaxed pace”. Alzheimer’s Society revealed that eight out of ten of the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK list shopping as their favourite activity. However, since being diagnosed, one in four have given up shopping. It will also help people with vision and hearing loss as well as those with Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

With a higher proportion of the community experiencing difficulties with maintaining adequate nutrition, there is an increased risk of infections, GP visits, extended hospital stays and pressure ulcers. BAPEN estimates that malnutrition affects over 3 million people in the UK and over 93% of these are living in the community. New advice from nutrition experts sees the elderly being told to use cream instead of milk in their coffee and tea, fry instead of grill and stock up on cakes and biscuits.

Care leaders have expressed their anger over social care having to wait until 2020 for extra money, despite the Prime Minister promising the NHS £20bn more a year over five years. Theresa May has announced the NHS budget of £114bn will rise by 3.4 % annually on average, partly funded by a ‘Brexit dividend’ and taxes. However, it was not good news for social care as extra funds for the sector will not be announced until the Autumn Spending Review and so will not benefit the care sector until 2020.

Increasing income tax or National Insurance contributions must be urgently considered by the Government to rescue the future of adult social care, councils have warned. The Local Government Association says that despite recent cash injections by the Government, adult social care services still face a funding gap of £3.5bn by 2025. A poll found NI increases were the most popular choice to raise funds for better care, with 56 % in support. Changes to income tax were the second most popular option, with 49 % in favour of the idea.

Below are the NHS Domicilary bulletins for this year: