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Dementia-friendly caffs, loos and ambulances!

In her latest News Space blog, Age Space’s Annabel James looks at news and views about dementia, elderly care…

This ambulance is dementia-friendly

People with dementia in the East Midlands who call for an ambulance will benefit from an emergency vehicle tailored toward giving them better care, the first of its kind in the UK.

Earlier this year, East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) invited guests and staff from the University of Northampton’s dementia centre UnityDEM to board an ambulance and give their feedback about it.

EMAS have used these comments and taken four fully working ambulances and updated them. The aim is  to make people with dementia feel less frightened or confused and include tools to help staff better communicate and treat them. Watch the video to find out more.

These signs are positive

People living with dementia can sometimes find it challenging to navigate their way through public spaces. Signage for toilets, exits, lifts and waiting areas often includes confusing symbols or information.

As part of the  “Any Disability” campaign, new signs were co-produced by people living with dementia to make it easier to navigate these everyday destinations. The fifteen new symbols represent a variety of rooms or facilities.

‘Any Disability’ aims to make this dementia-friendly signage a British standard and for it to be rolled out nationwide, raising awareness about non-visible conditions among people who do not have a disability. Read more here

The heart of the matter

A British woman in her 70s has received the world’s first in-heart micro-computer which instantly tells doctors if her health is in danger.

Margaret McDermott, 75, a grandmother of 14, is taking part in a clinical trial aimed at improving care for patients with heart failure.

She said the device, implanted in the left atrium of her heart, was a ‘miracle’ that had transformed the quality of her life since her surgery in July. Read the Daily Mail’s report here

Eating out is no fun with dementia

Some restaurants and cafes are failing people with dementia because of loud noise, confusing signs and impatient staff, according to new research.

Although outlets are adapting slowly, they are still missing business opportunities given the large number of people with the condition.

“A business case exists for outlets to ensure their products and services are dementia-friendly. Mechanical factors such as lighting, contrasting colours, clearer signs and non-slip floors would help to create a dementia-friendly environment,” said the researchers.

Music really matters

A Musical Care Taskforce has been launched to show how music is an essential element in dementia care rather than solely being part of the day’s activities for the individual receiving care.

The task force is comprised of more than 60 leading figures from across the music, dementia, health and social care sectors.

Behind the campaign is a strategic partnership between Live Music Now (LMN) and the Utley Foundation’s Music for Dementia 2020 initiative; with close support and collaboration from the National Care Forum (NCF) and the Association of British Orchestras (ABO).

On yer bikes!

Indoor cycling is as effective in treating Parkinson’s Disease as medication, a study has found.

Researchers found that high intensity aerobic exercise on a static bike, using interactive apps, provided ‘about the same improvement’ as medication in patients.

Meanwhile, residents in care homes across the world are taking part in the ‘Senior Road World Championships‘, with elderly competitors racing each other to claim the title. The event has been backed by British Cycling and Sport England, and competitors take part using equipment supplied by tech company Motitech, pedalling inside on adapted bikes on around 1,700 virtual paths.

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