Welcome to the first Care Sector News Review of 2018.
Each month, we'll introduce you to some of the key news stories from the care sector, with a focus on care services, medical research and awareness initiatives.
Read on to find out what's been happening across the care sector in January 2018:
- The government has proposed extending the successful 'Blue Badge' parking scheme to cover hidden disabilities, including dementia. The proposal - currently undergoing consultation - would create a "lifeline" for many, according to mental health campaigners.
- Approximately half of England's care home providers are failing residents across one quarter of their properties or more, a new study from Which? has found. Some providers had as many as two-thirds of their facilities rated as 'inadequate' or 'requiring improvement ' by the Care Quality Commission.
- Individuals with Alzheimer's and other serious conditions are being forced to wait up to three years for a decision as to who funds their care, according to The Public Accounts Committee. The report stated that thousands of people had effectively been denied funding they were entitled to.
- Hospitals experienced a drastic spike in flu cases among older people over New Year. In the week leading up to 31 December, flu cases increased three-fold on the previous week. The non-urgent NHS helpline, 111, also experienced its busiest week on record.
- A commission has petitioned the House of Lords to increase access to music therapy for dementia patients. Despite the well-documented benefits of music therapy, only 5% of care homes currently deploy this technique.
- New research from the University of Bergen could flip conventional thinking regarding Parkinson's treatment on its head. Rather than harming the brain, reduced levels of the MC1 enzyme may help to protect regions of the brain.
- Women who experience early menopause may be at increased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a study led by the University of Oxford. Early menstruation, complications giving birth and hysterectomies also implied greater risk.
- Combining blood tests with brain scans could help predict the risk of a repeat episode among stroke patients, new research has found. This finding could transform how doctors manage strokes caused by intracerebral haemorrhages (ICHs), which account for around 50% of cases.
- 25 January marked Young Carers Awareness Day 2018 - reminding us that care is a responsibility shared across all areas of society. Schools around the UK held initiatives to raise awareness and provide young carers with access to vital information and support.
- National Storytelling Week is set to take place from 27 January - 3 February. Care homes are among the many venues scheduled to host events, where residents will regale their younger counterparts with tales from their youth.
- Two artistic endeavours for people with dementia captured the public imagination in January. An artist in Sussex collated works created by those with dementia to help raise awareness, while care home residents in Surrey were treated to a virtual reality recreation of the Queen's Coronation Day.
Join us again in the last week of February for the next edition of Care Sector News Review.
If you'd like to find out more about The Good Care Group's live-in care services, contact our friendly team.