Care Sector News Review: July
Welcome back for the July edition of Care Sector News Review.
Each month, we'll introduce you to a selection of the most notable news stories relating to care services, medical research and awareness initiatives.
Read on to find out what's happened across the care sector in July:
- Research from Age UK has identified that the families of approximately 25% of care home residents are paying top-up fees for services meant to be free-of-charge. The report dubbed this a 'stealth tax' and questioned the legitimacy of current means-testing techniques.
- The government has decided to waive fines for backdated pay owed by some residential care employers. The dispute relates to payments for 'sleep-in' shifts, which a tribunal decided this month should be remunerated at minimum wage, rather than a lower flat rate.
- A new opera – the first written specifically for care settings – has been performed at care homes across London and the South West. Residents have been treated to intimate performances from some of the leading lights of the operatic world.
- The NHS is taking up to five years to process care funding claims, resulting in older people and their families having to sell assets in order to cover immediate care costs of up to £70,000. The report concluded the NHS was failing to adequately promote or administer Continuing Healthcare rules.
- Postoperative delirium – a state of confusion felt after procedures conducted under general anaesthetic – has been linked to the risk of developing dementia. The 56% of older people affected by this condition were found to be three times more likely to be diagnosed with the condition.
- The memories of people with Alzheimer's could be reinstated using medication in future, according to initial research from Columbia University. Researchers found that Alzheimer's made memories harder to access, rather than removing them altogether.
- Stem cell treatments have proven effective at killing cancer cells in animal trials, according to scientists from the University of California. Those involved hope that one day such treatment will also negate some side effects of chemotherapy.
- Thousands of stroke patients have stopped taking statins as a result of misleading scare stories. Dr Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation called the news "deeply concerning".
- 30 July has been designated as International Friendship Day. To mark the event, friends from around the world have exchanged small gifts, cards and wrist bands. Social engagement is crucial to maintaining a good quality of life, so this is a timely reminder to reach out to your loved ones.
- Sarcoma Awareness Week took place from 3–9 July. Volunteers – including carers, patients and their loved ones – took part in successful fundraising events across the country, such as 'The Big Picnic'.
- Care home residents in North Wales were provided with an all-too-sweet experience to mark World Chocolate Day. Award-winning pastry chef and chocolatier Steve Hewitt treated residents of Queen Elizabeth Court in Conwy to a chocolate making – and tasting – session on 7 July.
Join us again in the last week of August for the next edition of Care Sector News Review.
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