Weekly Digest

How hi-tech helps… News Space 28 September 2018

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Written by Annabel James

Hi-tech help and conversation cards… Annabel James sums up the week’s news.

Annabel James updates us on the latest care news

On constant Watch

The newly-launched Apple Watch includes lots of gadgetry – and for the first time, a falls detector.

With the new accelerometer and gyroscope (I know!), the Watch can detect if you’ve fallen. When an incident like this occurs, a hard fall alert is delivered, and you can easily initiate a call to emergency services or dismiss the alert. If you’re unresponsive after 60 seconds, the emergency call will be placed automatically and a message will be sent to your emergency contacts.

As well as that, Emergency SOS allows you to quickly get help. It calls 999, notifies your emergency contacts, sends your current location, and displays your Medical ID badge on the screen for emergency personnel. Read more from the boffins at Apple here

Not such a wee matter…

This is Urology Week and leading charities are warning that incontinence is one of the biggest issues for people with serious health conditions – but taboo around it forces those affected to struggle in silence.

Ten organisations – including Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Marie Curie and Parkinson’s UK – held a workshop to discuss common problems and potential solutions with patients, carers, researchers and health and social care professionals.

The resulting report recommends tackling the stigma and funding research into the important but often ignored issue of incontinence and details the daily impact of incontinence on older people and people living with long-term health conditions and illnesses like dementia, Parkinson’s, cancer, urinary and gastric issues.

You can download a copy here

Something worth listening to

The BBC World Service World Hacks series has an episode on Smart Stimulation for People with Dementia, about new developments that are helping make life better – and more fun. Catch up with the broadcast here

Lost for words? Conversation cards could help

On a similar theme, the Alive charity has developed a set of free conversation cards to support relatives, friends and carers, to build social connections and engage in meaningful conversations with people who are living with dementia.

All too often the families and friends of people diagnosed with dementia can feel alone and worried, knowing that the relationship with their loved one is going to change. It can sometimes be hard to know what to say or do when spending social time with someone whose needs or situation have changed so significantly. For staff working with older people, being able to know a person’s life history and form a relationship with them are key to providing high quality care.

Find out more and download a free set of cards from the Alive website.

Older People's Day

And just in time for Older People’s Day on 1 October, a reminder that NHS England, in partnership with Age UK, Public Health England, and the Chief Fire Officer’s Association and older people themselves, has published a Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing.

The guide helps people to stay physically and mentally well by providing hints and tips on how to keep fit and independent. It recognises, (as we all should), that there is always something we can do to improve our health and wellbeing. For older people who may be starting to find things more difficult to do, it is particularly important to take active steps to slow down the effects of ageing.

The Guide can be obtained here

And finally…

If you still have the dream that, finally: “it’s time for my close-up Mr deMille”, you may be right!

Most theatres run youth groups but Manchester’s Royal Exchange also has a company of amateur actors over 60. Leeds Playhouse, Southwark Playhouse in London and Theatre by the Lake in Keswick also run groups for over 60s to develop their performance skills and learn about theatre.

Read The Guardian report on older actors’ groups.

About the author

Annabel James