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The carers who thrive in their “job”

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

Being a carer can be all-consuming, but why do some fare better than others at this job that they never actually applied for? It’s something worth thinking about.

Current research and dementia care services are typically problem-focused and designed to alleviate burden in carers.

But Warren Donnellan at the University of Liverpool is fascinated by the “hidden strength” that enables some carers to thrive. It’s something that researchers term “resilience”.

His case studies are pretty inspiring and show that with a particular mindset, a support network and good dollop of humour, people can live well as dementia carers. He believes that by promoting resilience and the positive and rewarding aspects of care-giving, we can help to improve the day-to-day lives of both carers and the people they care for. Read more here

Is Mum ready for her close-up?

Video calls for the elderly are helping reduce strain on stretched NHS. In Manchester the service has already prevented 1,000 unnecessary visits to A&E in the last year – and has freed up 2,000 GP appointments. Nurses have video calls with elderly people who can discuss and show their ailments.
In circumstances where elderly people may have previously called for an ambulance or GP they can now dial in for an assessment. More here from Sky News.

Don’t keep taking the tablets

Thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be sent  into care homes to carry out checks on residents and review their medicines, NHS England has announced.

The measures aim to improve the quality of life, cut hospital stays and reduce over-medication.

Health officials say that up to four in 10 hospital admissions by elderly residents could be avoided if they were given the right care, without over-use of medication. Around 400,000 people live in nursing and residential homes in England – taking an average of seven types of medication daily. Read more here

Access all areas!

Getting out and about is important for everybody. Research shows that physical activity in the fresh air can have a really positive effect on mental health, as well as physical.

So it’s good news that The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, which now also features information aimed specifically at people with hidden conditions, such as autism and anxiety, is available free online with more than 180 ideas for days out. Reports include essential information such as proximity of disabled parking, wheelchair access, and more.

Aiming to inspire more people to enjoy the best of Britain’s attractions, whatever their ability, the guide includes features such as quiet mornings, picture stories or bespoke queuing arrangements, as well as details of ramps, accessible toilets and parking spaces. Download it here  or view it online.


Meanwhile Sport England is investing nearly a quarter of a million pounds in a new six-month pilot aimed at getting older people active.

“10 Today” provides a series of easy, accessible and enjoyable 10-minute exercise broadcasts – for both radio and online. Follow them almost anywhere and at any time.

Inspired by Radio Taiso, an established and evidence-based national daily exercise broadcast on Japanese radio, 10 Today has been produced and led by older people, for older people.

It aims to increase physical activity among older people across the country, helping to reduce social isolation and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of participants. Find out more

And finally…

No more feeling guilty about settling down with a coffee and a puzzle! Completing a daily Sudoko could delay brain ageing by eight to 10 years, a study of nearly 20,000 people suggests.

Researchers had already discovered that people who regularly solve crosswords have sharper brains, but new results show number puzzles have the same impact.