Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Love itself lives on even when the memories fail

Frances Freeman… This is me with my mother she is 94 – she is looked after at the Newquay Nursing home in Cornwall.
She has Vascular Dementia – it’s massively tough to live with she has no concept of time passing, she gets very angry with the world. However, this is a happy moment she was telling me that my Father has just been promoted (not true, he died more than 10 years ago)

Joanna Slater… I work with Frances and hear from her day to day how hard it has been to cope with her mother with Vascular Dementia. Frances is a wonderful daughter. When a loved one suffers from such a delibating disease where do you start and how do you keep the communication going. Frances keeps that communication going even when her mother talks of such things that is in her imagination. This photo shows the love that never ends no matter what. Bless you Frances and bless your darling mum xxxxx

Such a wonderful photo, Love itself lives on.


Filed under: Dementia,

New dementia training package for nursing staff by Steve Ford for Nursing Times

A free training package aimed at educating health and social care staff about dementia has been launched by Health Education England.

The training package  provides a basic introduction to dementia and how it affects people and their loved ones. It was launched today by Health Education England through a collaboration with the University of Bedfordshire, Oxford Brookes University, University of Northampton and University of West London.

The two-year project was commissioned by HEE’s Thames Valley branch, with the aim of improving professional knowledge, service delivery and provision for patients with dementia. Part of it included a review of existing dementia awareness training, with the findings then used to develop the subsequent training package.

Melsina Makaza, senior lecturer in mental health nursing and dementia lead at Bedfordshire, jointly led a pilot of the package involving 1,500 clinical and non-clinical staff from a variety of health and social settings in 2015. She said: “People often have this misconception that when someone gets dementia, that’s it, the person is gone. It’s sometimes seen as a death sentence. “But that’s not true,” she said. “The person is still there and we need to make sure health and social care professionals at every level know how best to help them in a person-centred way.”

Click on the link to read more

New dementia training package for nursing staff


Filed under: Dementia,

How do you know you have got dementia? A group of people share their experiences of diagnosis

Grief, guilt, disbelief, denial, and even relief ­seven people living with dementia share how they felt the day they were diagnosed, and how they have come to terms with it since.

Being diagnosed with the neurological condition dementia terrifies many people who think their world is falling in. Many people have feelings which range from despair to denial, to guilt and relief.

A special project to try and raise awareness of the realities of dementia diagnosis has taken the stories of eight people from around the UK and asked them how they felt the day they were diagnosed.

They talk about how their feelings progressed and how they came to terms with their diagnosis and how they re-built their lives.

Click on the link to read their stories


Filed under: Dementia, ,

Shocking video captures two care home workers taunting dementia sufferers by torturing the ‘comfort dolls’ they believe are real babies

  • Dementia patients at Ashbourne House care home are given therapy dolls
  • Some vulnerable residents come to see the toys as their own real children
  • Shocking video shows nurses taunting residents by torturing their dolls
  • Two members of staff have been suspended pending an investigation 

Carers have been suspended amid claims they taunted vulnerable dementia patients by torturing the ‘comfort dolls’ they believe are real babies in a series of sick pranks. Sickening video footage shot at Ashbourne House nursing home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, appears to show a member of staff throwing the doll to the floor, distressing its elderly owner. And photographs show the dolls being hanged, put in a tumble dryer and apparently being cooked in a saucepan on a hob.

Another photograph shows an elderly woman appearing distressed as her doll is snatched out of her hands, while there are also images of a doll face down in a fish tank.  A source claims that one picture, showing the doll hung with rope around the neck outside a resident’s bedroom window, was taken as the pensioner was sleeping after staff barged in and put the light on.

It is thought that the pictures and video were taken and shared among some members of staff via WhatsApp.  Two members of staff have been suspended pending an investigation.

Click on the link to read and see more of this evil

308D1E1B00000578-3414768-image-a-28_1453713764566 308D1E1700000578-3414768-image-m-22_1453713572623

Filed under: Care Homes, , ,

The dementia timebomb: People fear it MORE than cancer – yet it receives only a tenth of the funding

  • Dame Gill Morgan is chair of NHS Providers, representing hospital trusts  
  • Says dementia research lags 25 years behind the progress made in cancer
  • Advances in drug development will be too late for 850,000 sufferers

Dementia research is lagging 25 years behind the progress made in cancer, a leading health chief warned today.  People fear Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia more than cancer – yet dementia research receives only a tenth of the funding. Dame Gill Morgan, chair of NHS Providers, said yesterday: ‘Dementia is, in my view, the cruellest disease.

‘It is a cruel disease because your family watch you declining, and they lose the person, but they keep the body. ‘Studies show that dementia is now the most feared disease, it is more feared than cancer. ‘It is the thing that people do not want to get when they are older. ‘One of the thing that makes it very difficult, is that we really are not fully clear what the biological causes are. ‘If you compare it to cancer, and the knowledge that we have about the biology and genetics of the disease, cancer is probably 20 to 25 years ahead.’

Dame Gill, whose organisation represents most English NHS trusts, said that advances currently being made in dementia drug development will come too late to help the 850,000 people currently living with the disease in Britain.

Click on the link to read more

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Pictured, CT scan of sufferers’ brains


Filed under: Dementia, ,

Dementia assistance cards

This is the interview Caron Sprake did last week for her local BBC TV station about the Dementia assistance cards. These are FREE to download and if you need help making some, please contact

Filed under: Dementia,

Michael Parkinson warns that visiting some care homes dealing with dementia patients is ‘like going back to Victorian times’

  • Veteran broadcaster’s mother died with dementia at the age of 96
  • He has now warned others about conditions in some care homes
  • Sir Michael says people caring for relatives not to be afraid to complain

Sir Michael Parkinson has urged those looking after people with dementia to check care homes very carefully. He has likened the ‘appalling standards’ he saw after his own mother’s battle with dementia as ‘like going back to the Victorian times and bedlam.’ The veteran broadcaster and former chat show host has urged people caring for relatives with dementia not to be afraid to ask difficult questions or complain if they are worried about the standard of care their loved ones are receiving.

He said: ‘You should be very careful – if you can be and you have a choice – about where you send them. And keep your eye out and don’t be frightened of complaining. Ask what’s happening, what’s going on, because sometimes the care is not sufficient, I have to say.’  Sir Michael’s mother Freda Rose died with dementia at the age of 96 after battling the condition for several years. He has spoken movingly about the pain of watching his ‘sharp and articulate’ mother become ‘a total stranger.’ He said that Freda, who was cared for in several homes of varying standards while she was ill, hated being patronised or shouted at despite not being deaf.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Care Homes, Dementia, Elderly, , ,

The Dementia Assistance Card

Who is behind this service? 

Caron Sprake. An award winning blogger, her blog offers advice and information for anyone caring for the elderly.
Caron is a Purple Angel Ambassador working in the UK to raise awareness about Dementia.

The dementia assistance card provides a clear and concise way for someone with dementia to ask for help in shops, restaurants etc and shows the contact number of a relative or friend in the case of an emergency.  The Dementia Assistance Card

Click on the link below to create and print the assistance card



Filed under: Dementia, , ,

‘One in three’ Brits born this year will develop #dementia as experts warn of national health crisis

Experts warned of a “looming national health crisis” as it was revealed today that one in three Brits born this year will develop dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK said as people live longer, the numbers with dementia will rise.

The latest figures obtained by the charity show that 37% of girls born in 2015 will develop the condition in their lifetime, alongside 27% of boys. The group called for investment in research to find new treatments and preventions in order to beat “our greatest medical challenge”.

Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK, resulting in the loss of brain cells. The most common type is Alzheimer’s disease.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Dementia, ,

Hospitals still not doing enough to safeguard dementia patients: Warning noisy and cluttered wards are causing sufferers to become distressed or suffer harm

  • Figures published today show the worst hospitals scoring just 42 in 100
  • They show a huge variation between the worst and best, which scored 98 
  • Some hospitals had even failed to install hand rails to prevent harmful falls
  •  Nurses have warned many A & E units have become ‘places of terror’ 

Hospitals are failing dementia patients by not doing enough to prevent them becoming distressed or suffering harm, official figures show. Wards are often too noisy, unfamiliar and frightening, or cluttered with bedside tables and chairs which can cause serious falls. Figures published yesterday show that the worst hospital scored only 42 out of 100 in terms of how well it was set up to care for patients with dementia.

Many had failed to install handrails to prevent falls or put up clear signs so patients did not get lost, and some were deemed to be too clinical and unwelcoming. Up to a quarter of patients in hospital have dementia. Many become extremely distressed when in such unfamiliar surroundings. Nurses recently warned that A&E units have become ‘places of terror’ for sufferers.

Hospital managers were urged to make wards more ‘dementia-friendly’ under a strategy launched by David Cameron in 2012. Health bosses were told to take measures to prevent patients falling over or becoming distressed. The Daily Mail has long campaigned for an improvement in the care for patients with dementia as part of our Dignity for the Elderly campaign.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: A&E, Dementia, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Dementia drug data set to be revealed

Eagerly awaited data on the most promising drug in treating Alzheimer’s disease is set to be unveiled later today

Patients and scientists hope it could become the first medication to slow the pace of brain decline. The decline in Alzheimer’s is unstoppable – drugs can help with symptoms, but nothing prevents the inexorable death of brain cells.

Hints at the drug’s effectiveness will be outlined, but Solanezumab* has been the great hope of dementia research. It targets deformed proteins called amyloid that build up in the brain during Alzheimer’s. It is thought the formation of sticky plaques of amyloid between nerve cells leads to damage and eventually brain cell death.

Click on the link to read more



Read about the drug Solanezumab*

Filed under: Dementia, , ,

Dementia patients being failed by social services, say GPs

Most doctors believe social services do not do enough to make sure people suffering from dementia have company and enough to eat

Dementia patients are being failed by social services who do not check if they are suffering from lonliness or malnourishment, GPs claim. A survey of 1000 doctors by the Alzheimer’s Society found that fewer than one in ten think people with dementia get enough statutory support to maintain a good diet or have adequate company. Three in five GPs (61 per cent) say lack of cooperation between the NHS and social care acts as a barrier to patients getting support, while many (73 per cent) also think patients, families and carers are left confused by the health and social care system.

The charity said that hundreds of thousands of people were being let down and called for the Government to ensure that everyone diagnosed with dementia is entitled to a full package of support including a Dementia Adviser. It also wants to see better help and support available for carers, with a single point of contact available to help them navigate the health and social care system.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Dementia, GP's, NHS, , ,

Barbara, the whole story. Created by nurses at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to raise awareness of dementia among staff

Please take 30 minutes to watch this wonderful video. Very sad and very emotional what can happen to us all, Joanna

Created by nurses at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to raise awareness of dementia among staff, Barbara’s Story is a series of 6 films which has changed attitudes to dementia in hospitals across the world.

Filed under: Dementia,

Dementia patients stay in hospital ‘because of home help care shortage’

Patients with dementia are being condemned to needlessly long stays in hospital because of a shortage of care to help them at home, a charity has warned.

New research shows that in the last financial year, people with the condition spent more than 3 million days in hospital – with average stay in some hospitals three times as long as in others. The Alzheimer’s Society said dementia sufferers were being forced to endure long stays in frightening and unfamiliar hospital surroundings, for want of support at home.

Official data shows that the NHS spent nearly £900m on the care of dementia patients who spent 3.42 million days in hospital during 2013/14. If the hospitals with the slowest discharge rates matched the national average, the health service would have saved £70 million – equal to the total amount spent on dementia research each year – the charity said. The figures show that while some hospitals had an average stay of six days for a patient with the condition, in others, the typical stay was more than three weeks.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Dementia, Elderly, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Is it dementia or just normal ageing? New test will help doctors identify if you are at risk of memory problems

A new scoring test to determine who is most at risk of developing memory problems will help doctors spot the signs of dementia, scientists said today.

The new tool is aimed at dementia of the debilitating condition, which currently affects more than 47 million people across the world. By 2030, the World Health Organisation predicts that number will spiral to 75 million. But researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota hope their research will help identify those most at risk, to help doctors intervene with potentially preventative treatments.  Study author Ronald Petersen, from the Clinic’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre, said: ‘Our goal is to identify people who are at the highest risk for dementia as early as possible.

‘Early detection of individuals at high risk of developing memory and thinking problems that we call mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is crucial because people with MCI are at a greater risk of developing dementia. ‘This allows for a wider window of opportunity to initiate preventative measures.’

Click on the link to read, and take the memory test


While forgetting what you went upstairs for is and taking a few minutes to recall where you parked your car is no cause for concern, if you can’t remember your grandchild’s name but can recall childhood memories, you should visit your GP, experts say



Filed under: Dementia, Elderly, Uncategorized, , ,

Dementia Documentry. Please watch Norman McNamara’s account on what its like to live with dementia

Diagnosed with Dementia aged just 50 yrs old, now 56 and still fighting it. Please watch his story and how he is helping others.

Filed under: Dementia, Uncategorized,

It will take more than scientific brilliance to win the battle against dementia

The ageing of societies across the world is a testament to progress. But as we grow older, the risk of mental as well as physical decline increases.Dementia affects one in five people over 80 and its global prevalence is doubling every 20 years. To confront this challenge we need more than scientific brilliance. We need a new approach to the funding and regulation of research. Next month (3-4 March) the World Health Organisation will set out its priorities for research into the degenerative brain disease at the first ministerial conference on global action against dementia in Geneva.

It follows David Cameron’s announcement in the Autumn Statement last December of a £15m down-payment by the UK government to help fund the battle against what the prime minister described as “one of the greatest enemies of humanity”.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Care Homes, Dementia, Elderly, Mental Health, NHS,

Press release: PM launches next phase of Britain’s fight against dementia

David Cameron sets out a new, long-term strategy focused on boosting research, improving care and raising public awareness about dementia.

Click on the link to read


Watch the BBC video report on 

Alzheimer’s charity hails one million ‘dementia friends’

Filed under: Dementia, Elderly, Mental Health,

Elderly man ‘held prisoner’ in care home

An elderly man suffering from dementia was treated like a “prisoner” after social workers dispatched him to a nursing home against his and his family’s wishes without going through proper legal processes, a formal investigation has found. Staff at Cambridgeshire County Council decided behind closed doors to declare the man, named only as N, unfit to decide his own care after his wife contacted them simply inquiring about the possibility of him going to a day centre for an extra day a week. The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) found that social workers failed to carry out proper assessments of his mental capacity or best interests or meet basic legal requirements for depriving him of his liberty.

A report details how he was sent to a home an hour’s bus journey away from his wife, who repeatedly objected to the placement backed up by other family members. He was locked in to stop him wandering off and his wife, daughter and brother were all separately warned that police would be called if they tried to take him home.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, Uncategorized, , ,

NHS staff are failing patients with dementia: Hundreds are dying on wards rather than at home surrounded by families because they are not seen as having a terminal illness

Dementia patients are being failed at the end of their lives as they are not deemed to have a terminal illness, charities warn. Many are dying on an undignified hospital ward when they wanted to be at home with loved ones. The final stages of the disease have become the ‘forgotten aspects of a silent epidemic’, according to a joint report by the Alzheimer’s Society and Marie Curie.  It says that unlike other illnesses, NHS staff do not sit down with families of dementia patients and draw up an end-of-life care plan. Around 850,000 Britons are known to have dementia, and the number is expected to rise to 2million by 2050 as the population ages.  The Government has promised to make the illness a national priority over concerns that there are no effective treatments and diagnosis rates remain shockingly low. But this report warns that despite efforts made to detect and treat the illness early on, too little attention is being paid to sufferers and their families at the end of their lives.

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

A 17 year old granddaughters view of her grandfather with dementia

Thank you Jill Edwards Thomas for allowing me to share this beautiful but sad video filmed by your daughter

Filed under: Uncategorized,

Help us defeat dementia in Down’s syndrome – Published by University of Cambridge

A team at University of Cambridge are looking at Dementia in people with Down’s syndrome. They are looking at a chemical called Amyloid in the brains of people with Down’s syndrome. They think that this chemical might cause memory problems, and they would like to know more about how it does this in people with Down’s syndrome.

Their long term objective is to understand why people with Down’s syndrome are at risk for memory problems so that safe treatments can be developed that might prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down’s syndrome, and in the general population.

If you have Down’s syndrome or know someone with Down’s syndrome over the age of 40, who might be interested to hear more about this study,  please contact the team using the link below.

A short movie about the study is available to watch below:

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Dementia factsheets – What is dementia and Supporting a person with dementia

In partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, Bild have created two Easy Read factsheets on dementia for people with learning disabilities.

Bild believe it is important that people with a learning disability have access to up to date and accessible information about dementia given that most people know someone with the condition – a family member, a friend, a neighbour.

Click on the link to download factsheets


factsheet 1 what is dementia     factsheet 2 supporting a person with dementia

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Anger over ‘cash for diagnoses’ dementia plan

Family doctors will be paid £55 for every patient they diagnose with dementia under a new NHS England scheme which has been condemned as an “ethical travesty”. Leading GPs said the national project amounted to “cash for diagnoses” – allowing doctors to make a direct profit if they classify patients as suffering from dementia. In some parts of the country, NHS authorities have gone still further – offering family doctors £200 for each new diagnosis made, The Telegraph can reveal.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Is this the most shaming hospital care scandal ever? Dementia patients restrained and their broken limbs ignored by swearing staff who claimed an exposé by desperate relatives was a breach of their human rights…

One of Britain’s most shocking hospital scandals in which dementia patients died after cruel abuse by nurses is exposed today. Elderly patients at an NHS hospital were left covered in faeces, injured themselves crawling on urine covered floors and were physically restrained with tables and chairs. Nurses threatened and swore at them, left them naked and taunted them about their past love lives. Hospital chiefs ignored repeated protests by relatives but were forced to act after a recording on a mobile phone camera smuggled into the hospital proved they were telling the truth.

The recording – the explosive contents of which have been obtained by this newspaper following an in-depth investigation – shows that nurses at a patient care meeting:

  • Admitted using furniture to restrain patients
  • Threatened and swore at them
  • Plotted to sabotage relatives’ complaints
  • Talked about their own sexual habits using disgusting language

An independent report into the scandal, including extracts from the recording, has been sent to police, health chiefs and Government Ministers. One senior figure who has seen it said: ‘It is the most shocking document I have ever read.’

Click on the link to read more


Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

Buzzer in your brain to boost dementia drugs: Device that ‘opens up’ brain could allow treatments to be vastly more effective

Scientists have developed a device that acts like a key in the brain, ‘opening’ it up to allow drugs for conditions such as dementia and cancer to be vastly more effective and trigger fewer side-effects. A device about the size of a 5p piece is inserted into the skull where it emits low-level sound waves that make it easier for drugs to pass through the defences of the brain, known as the blood-brain barrier. The blood vessels in the brain have a much tougher lining compared with blood vessels in the rest of the body – the cells in the former are very tightly packed, which stops most compounds or potential toxins escaping out of the blood vessels and harming the surrounding brain cells.

Click on the link to read more



Filed under: Uncategorized,

Poem – Nine Years Old with Dementia – written by John David Baker


I am not old
Yet I have been told
That I have dementia
I am nine years old
Who do I turn to?
Who do I hold?
My mum I turn to
Remember I am nine years old!

My son is not old
Yet he has been told
That he has dementia
He is just nine years old!
Who can I turn to?
Who do I hold?
I turn to the doctor
And my son I hold
He’s nine years old!
The doctor says he is not the only one
Others get it young
It’s rare
But he’s my son and at that moment I just care
About him
My little Tim

The patient is not old
Yet I have just told
That he has dementia
Poor lad, just nine years old!
Who should they turn to
who should they hold
They turn to me!
and each other they hold
Mother and her nine year old!

I look at my mother, my mother looks at me
The doctor offers his professional symphony
But I am not listening, my mum does not hear
His professional sounds falls on deaf ears
And in the stillness of my mother’s embrace
I hear the ticking clock
And a future with cruel Dementia we both embrace

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Dementia risk for middle-aged: 42,000 under the age of 65 have the disease including some in their 30s

Tens of thousands of middle-aged adults are developing dementia, a report will warn this week.
More than 42,000 Britons under the age of 65 are thought to have the illness – twice as many as was previously thought. This includes 2,000 who are in their forties.
Charities warn that many adults are coming to terms with the condition whilst still working, looking after children and paying off their mortgage.
They are also concerned that doctors are misdiagnosing many younger sufferers as they assume dementia mainly occurs in the elderly.
But a report by the Alzheimer’s Society to be published on Wednesday will warn that twice as many adults are developing dementia in mid-life than previously thought.
There are now 42,325 cases of early onset dementia in UK – which occurs before the age of 65 – previously there were only thought to be 17,000 cases.
This includes 2,010 in their 40s, 7,700 cases in their 50s, 32,000 in their 60s and 707 cases in their 30s.

Click on the link to read more

General Stock - Education - May 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized,

“YOU SEE ME” , “AND YET, YOU DON’T KNOW ME? – Such a truthful heart-rending poem, please read…


You see me , and yet you dont know me?
You hear me, and yet you ignore me?
You talk about me, and yet, don`t talk too me?
You laugh at me, yet i am not Funny?
You Pity me, and yet know nothing about me?
You whisper about me, and yet i can hear you!
You dress me, and yet never ask me?
You feed me, and yet i dont feel hungry,
You wake me, and yet i am so tired,
You speak at me, and not to me?
(And yet i am still me, i was me before my Dementia, and i will still be me at the end, so why, i ask again)

Cc Norrms Mc Namara Diagnosed with dementia 7 yrs ago now aged 50 and still fighting it!!


Filed under: Uncategorized,

My nan’s body died… today – Dedicated to my nan, Eileen RIP – by John David Baker

My nan’s body died… today
We buried her shell
She was a lovely women, that for the last three years had lived a life of hell!
Surrounded, by people she did not know
Surrounded, by carring, but hard pressed staff, in a nursing home
The frail old lady that could not… talk
The frail old lady that could not… walk
The frail old lady in the… incontinent pads!
The frail old lady that could not… dance
The frail old lady, that sat and napped all day
The scared old lady that cried somedays
…and staff, let this story be told, when they had enought time on their hands, her hands would hold
but there was so few of you, and so many hands to hold
and while the care staff worked their fingers to the bone
My frail old nan would sit in a chair.. alone
A frail old lady, scared, in a room full of people
so very alone
But, I remember the days when this frail old lady was so young, free and seldom alone
and my nan cared for me
and she was, and still is the world to me
but, I lost you twice nan
I lost you twice
I lost the wonderful person that loved and guided me
And then the frighten, confused, frail old lady, that could hardly see
And to the staff that care for my nan, THANK YOU for you all did your best
but you know what? society needs to SEE
That we could do much better
its not hard to BE
So give us more kind staff, to hold people’s hands and then we will see, yes then we will see

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

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