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

Carers UK is urging the government to urgently put in place the financial and practical support that carers need, both in the short term and over the longer term, to ensure the sustainability of the health and social care system.

The call comes as the charity reveals the results of its survey (you may even have taken part) into the State of Caring 2019. It shows that unpaid carers are: “bankrupting their future to pay for the present”.

As well as providing significant levels of care themselves, more than two thirds of carers are also using their own income or savings to cover the cost of care, equipment or products for the person they care for. As a result many are struggling financially and unable to save for their own retirement.

It’s pretty devastating stuff and exactly why we offer carers lots of advice and information on our website and on our friendly forum.

Phew, what a scorcher!

Enjoying this spell of summer? For elderly and vulnerable very high temperatures really can cause problems.

Efforts to support older people during extreme heat should focus on those who lack independence or have pre-existing health issues, according to an expert from the University of Warwick.

New research shows that having locations where older people can keep cool plays a key role in reducing their vulnerability to extreme heat. But older people may find them difficult to access or have limited ability to travel to them.

It comes as countries in Europe are experiencing a potentially record-breaking heatwave this week. Read more about this research here

An appointment with Dr Alexa

People will be able to get expert health advice using Amazon Alexa devices, under a partnership with the NHS, the government announced this week.

The voice-assisted technology is automatically searching the official NHS website when UK users ask for health-related advice.

The government in England said it could reduce demand on the NHS. Here’s the BBC News report

And here’s your (gardening) prescription!

Meanwhile, people with dementia should be offered activities such as exercise, aromatherapy, gardening and mindfulness to help them stay well and independent, according to new standards for dementia care.

The recommendation comes in updated quality standards from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Under the guidance, healthcare professionals working with people living with dementia including community psychiatric nurses, care homes nurses and dementia advisers are expected to discuss people’s life experiences and interests. That will help identify activities that can help with their condition and overall wellbeing. Art, baking, reminiscence therapy, music therapy and animal-assisted therapy are among the types of activities mentioned in the updated standards. 

 

Sleepy? Think pink!

In a new study, researchers found that”pink noise” – gentle sounds played during specific times during sleep – could enhance deep or slow-wave sleep.

The effect is strong in older people with mild cognitive impairment, a warning sign for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the people whose brains responded the most robustly to the sounds showed improved memory in the following day. Read more here

And finally…

Scammers take advantage of the British stiff-upper lip by targeting older people who are too embarrassed to tell anyone that they’ve been scammed.

With an estimated five million pensioners (65 and over) falling victim to a scam in the UK, Barclays has teamed up with the nation’s oldest grime artists, Pete & Bas, to release a track – Bank Account Details Please – calling for the scammers to ‘jog on’.

The South London pensioners – both in their 70s – have become unlikely rap stars after racking up millions of internet views with their no-nonsense tracks – and perform to sell-out crowds in cities across the UK. Find out more here

The post The state of carers and keeping cool in the heat appeared first on Age Space.

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The Man in the Middle writes our new blog series. Musings from a middle-aged man living with his aged Mother and the Family.

Mother and I agree we’re going to ignore the advice of the Minister for Loneliness to ‘take your grandparents on holiday’. The Minister used to do it and wants us to follow her lead as part of her strategy to ‘beat loneliness’.

It’s not that the Minister’s advice is bad. But it’s going to be hard to follow because Mother hates trains, planes, automobiles, ferries and cars. She also detests bicycles. Or rather bicyclists, whom she regards as thoughtless hooligans who enjoy scaring old people by riding on pavements and jumping the traffic lights.

A sedan chair and a team of muscled youngsters

The only way to get her to the south of France – which is where we’re heading – is to hire a sedan chair and a team of muscled youngsters to carry her. The journey would leave almost no carbon footprint and give two fit young people work for a fortnight or more. I wonder if the Minister would finance this as an innovative piece of policy making and a sure fire publicity coup?

‘The last time I went to France the dog had diarrhea for a week and your father drank a bottle of a brandy every day. At my age, I can’t risk reliving that all over again,’ says Mother.

Son thinks she has hodophobia, a rare disease, which makes you fear travelling and should be taken to the psychiatrist. Wife thinks she’s being selfless and should be left alone. I am trying to remember if Father liked brandy that much. The bit about the dog is true.

‘If she were a dog, we’d put her in a dog home. Why aren’t there dog homes for old people?’ says Son.

‘We could set up cameras in her flat so we can watch her on our iPhones,’ says Daughter.

‘We could just respect her wish to stay at home,’ says Wife.

I investigate respite care

The worry that something bad might happen while we’re away doesn’t disappear. But son has given me an idea. I investigate respite care and talk Mother through the concept of her signing up while we’re in France. She looks at me kindly after mulling it over.

‘If I drop dead while I’m in this so-called respite care home, they’d be obliged to tell you I was dead. That means you’d be obliged to come home. Which means the family would be obliged to come home, too. Which means the holiday would be ruined for everyone.

‘But here’s the rub. Coming back early won’t bring me back to life. And if I die before you get back, nothing very much will happen. They’ll just shove me in a giant freezer and call you when you come home, sun-tanned and relaxed.

‘Frankly, you’ll be in better shape to deal with the shock after the holiday than during it. So, when you think about it seriously this respite care business is clearly a pointless complication and expense.’

I am bamboozled but not stupid enough to fight on.

‘You’d rather be by yourself? At home, then?’

‘Yes. L’enfer c’est les autres. Why do people always assume us oldies need to be with other people? The politicians and those busy bodies need to remember that.’

She pauses for a moment.

‘Good God, imagine being on holiday with a politician.’

© The Man in the Middle

Find The Man in the Middle on Twitter @maninthemiddle15 and Facebook maninthemiddle guru

 

The post No respite for our Man in the Middle appeared first on Age Space.

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

There are plenty of really interesting smart technology developments at the moment. And they have the potential to improve care for the most vulnerable or lonely older people.

For instance, it was announced this week that Britain’s first dementia-friendly village, with talking houses and adjustable street signs, is being developed in Rutland.

The roads will be in a grid layout to help residents find their way. Paths will have sloping ramps rather than steps to prevent falls. One of the most important features will be voice prompts on some front doors, to tell dementia patients they have arrived at the right home. Once built the village will also provide cheap housing for hundreds of families, young couples and professionals.

We watch with interest! Find out more here

Alexa… Call me an ambulance

We know that plenty of older people are loving Alexa, the Amazon Echo’s helpful assistant and home DJ!

But it seems that smart speakers could one day pick up if someone is suffering a cardiac arrest and call emergency services, research suggests. A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, which often causes a sufferer to produce a ‘guttural, gasping noise’.

Researchers have developed a new tool for devices such as an Amazon Alexa that detects this disrupted breathing and contacts emergency services. When tested on real calls, the tool picked up on cardiac arrests 97 per cent of the time, even when the gasping sound was 20ft (6m) away from the receiver.

The online lunch party

Online lunch clubs are the start of a remote care revolution to reduce the spiralling costs of caring for older people in Finland.

Remote care nurse Duvi Leineberg does her lunch rounds. But instead of jumping in a car and visiting each person one by one, she is sitting in an office looking at a large computer screen where she can see into seven people’s homes. Most are sitting at a table preparing to tuck into some food.

This is a virtual lunch group, set up to make sure older people receiving home care services in the city eat regularly and at the right time. The virtual lunch group is one aspect of Helsinki’s remote care – where clients have a tablet that links up with remote care nurses in a service centre. Remote care appointments are set up to check on clients throughout the day and to make sure they take the relevant medication. More to read on this here

So is mum eating enough?

We’re bombarded with stories about obesity, so it’s a shock to discover one in ten over-65s is malnourished, or at risk of malnutrition.

The key to addressing malnutrition in elderly people, Dr Simon Gabe, consultant gastroenterologist and expert in nutrition, believes, is raising awareness and knowing how to spot the tell-tale signs in yourself and your loved ones. “It might be something as small as loose rings, dentures and clothes,” he advises.

You can check whether you or someone you know is at risk by using the malnutrition self-screening tool: (www.malnutritionselfscreening.org). The site also has dietary advice. “We’d like people to undergo self-screening then seek advice, and would like to see it become compulsory that patients are assessed for their nutritional state whenever they are in a health care setting,” says Dr Gabe. Read more here

Teeth matter

Grim news this week as the Care Quality Commission warns that care home residents did not always have access to dentists and were not getting the support they needed to look after their teeth.

One in six care homes also said they did not assess residents’ oral health on admission. One in three said they could not always access dental care, mainly related to the lack of specialist dental services that visit people in the community rather than expecting them to attend clinics.

It’s another thing for the list, but if mum or dad do go into a care home and may have dental issues, we and they need to make sure it’s flagged up with the staff – and the situation monitored. Read the BBC report here

And finally…

Do you know a person, organisation or community who has made a real change to the lives of people with dementia? If so, the Alzheimer’s Society wants to hear from you. Nominations are now open for the sixth Dementia Friendly Awards.

The awards celebrate and showcase the achievements of individuals, groups and organisations across the UK who have led the way on creating dementia-friendly communities and improving the lives of everybody affected by dementia. Nominations close on Friday 9 August.

The post Smart technology and Dementia Friendly Awards appeared first on Age Space.

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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.

Radio-active

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.

The post The carers who thrive in their “job” appeared first on Age Space.

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

Would you pay an extra 2p in tax so that older people can receive free care help to eat, wash and get dressed?

That’s the proposal from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). It highlights the growing consensus that personal care should become free for over-65s. If implemented, it would bring England into line with Scotland where such care has bee free since 2002.

Doing so would remove what critics say is a deeply unfair system. Currently more and more people of pensionable age are having to use their savings to pay for care received at home that is vital to their independence. Read more in The Guardian’s report.

#Askusanything

As some six in ten people with dementia say they experience loneliness and isolation, the Alzheimer’s Society launched this year’s Dementia Action Week this week with a call to people to #Askusanything. The aim is to start talking and include people living with dementia; ending the awkwardness and creating a more inclusive society.

Kids Interview People With Dementia – Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Action Week 2019 - YouTube

(Don’t forget that we have plenty of useful info about dementia on agespace.org)

Scanning gran

Barcodes may be the way forward when it comes to protecting people with dementia. In Japan, people with dementia and their carers are given badges they can wear. They display a QR code – a square image similar to a barcode – which can be read by anyone with a smart-phone. The person’s details mean they can be assisted home if they wander and become disorientated.

One of the inventors of the badges, Haruo Hidaka, had the idea after watching the grandmother who raised him suffer with dementia. He believed in the idea so much that his team developed a prototype that he personally went to sell in 630 towns and cities across Japan. Watch the BBC News video here

“And Alexa, remind me please!”

The Alzheimer’s Society has partnered with a European company to launch My Carer, a new skill on Alexa, aimed at improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living with early stage dementia in the UK.

By tuning into their daily routine, the app Alexa skill reminds them what to do and gives them step-by-step guidance through their daily tasks. That’s from taking their medication, preparing lunch and remembering birthdays and connecting with the world around them. The entire process is designed o be extremely simple.

Through the MyCarer.app website, the person living with early-stage dementia or their carer can customise a daily routine with instructions step by step. My Carer helps users to complete tasks such as preparing meals and getting ready for appointments. At the time scheduled, Alexa sends a voice notification to let the patient know there’s a new task to do. Read more here

Let there be light

Stone Age man and woman could have told us a thing or two about this. As humans, exposure to the circadian rhythm of natural daylight and darkness is pretty important to keep us on an even keel.

Care home residents also often suffer from lack of sunlight. Indoor light can be dim while residents often experience very little natural light, meaning poor quality sleep is a common complaint.

A Dutch study increased the light in the communal areas of a home, while attempting to make bedrooms as dark as possible. This appeared to reduce daytime napping and stabilise night-time sleep, which improved mental ability and sense of wellbeing. More to read on this here

And finally…

Armchair Gallery is a rather wonderful free resource for hard-pressed activity coordinators in care homes. It recognises the fact that a lot of people aren’t able to visit galleries in person, but would still love the opportunity of interacting with world-class art.

With special features for people living with dementia, Armchair Gallery brings artworks and artefacts into care homes and other environments, through a free app for iPad and Android tablets.

So, for example, you can colour a Canaletto, create your own Hepworth, take a selfie with Lowry. Or at the touch of a button, you can be taken on a guided video tour of Chatsworth House, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, The Lowry, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Pitt Rivers Museum, Mr Straw’s House or Newstead Abbey. Cool!

 

The post Free care, fine art and barcoding grandma! appeared first on Age Space.

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The Norwich Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) members will be hosting a wide programme of events during Dementia Action Week 20-26 May 2019, with the aim of encouraging people to start a conversation about Dementia.

Age UK Norwich CEO – Dan Skipper

“It’s incredibly important to share with people living with the disease and their families the support in the city to make them feel safe and confident as they go about their daily lives. We have over 80 organisations in Norwich working to train their staff to become aware of dementia, reviewing their products and processes and changing their physical environments so they are more accessible. 

Dementia Action Week is an opportunity for us to promote those organisations who are demonstrating their support, and hopefully engage more people to get involved to make our city truly a Dementia Friendly place to live.”

Some of the things happening across the week include;

  • John Lewis are giving away free knitting patterns and wool and encouraging their customers to knit forget me knots as part of an awareness and fundraising campaign.
  • On Monday 20th May, the DAA will be hosting a ‘Rebel Alliance’ workshop for its members to share success stories and learn new ways of being dementia friendly.
  • The Dial House in Reepham is offering a free cuppa for anyone living with Dementia.
  • The Museum of Norwich will be hosting a relaxed get to together for people living with dementia and their families.
  • The Norfolk & Norwich Festival has their annual ‘The Afternoon Social’ in the Speigaltent – a chance to dance, play games and eat cake.
  • A new ‘Love Later Life’ Business Awards will be launching to recognise and celebrate local businesses who support older people in the community, including dementia.

For a full list of events and details click here Dementia-Action-Week-Events-And-Activities-V3.0

If you can’t attend an event, simply talking to someone with dementia is a great place to start. Alzheimer’s Society’s research shows that many people are worried about ‘saying the wrong thing’ and despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with the disease report feeling isolated and lonely.

That’s why this year, the charity is encouraging everyone to take action by starting a conversation with someone living with dementia they know; whether it’s calling a relative with dementia or visiting a neighbour, it’s time to start talking.

It can be difficult to know what to say, so below are six tips from people living with dementia on how to get a conversation started.

  1. ‘Talk to me, smile, be a little patient and give me time to reply.’
  2. ‘A simple ‘hello’, ask about the weather, anything that you feel comfortable with.’
  3. ‘Just be yourself and yes, we will make mistakes but it’s ok to laugh along with us.’
  4. ‘I love it when people ask me questions. It gives me an opportunity to show that people with dementia exist, that we can still contribute to things going on around us and that life goes on. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like me again’
  5. ‘Just don’t ask if I remember.’
  6. ‘Don’t be afraid. All it takes is a conversation to see we’re still us.’

Dan Skipper continues

“It’s good to talk and at Age UK Norwich we understand that caring for someone with dementia can be exhausting. We have one of the few dementia day care facilities in the city – Marion Day Care Centre where families can be safe in the knowledge their loved one will have a nice day amongst experienced staff and come home feeling happy. We invite families to get in touch and see how we can help.

The post Dementia Action Week 2019 – What’s On? appeared first on Age Space.

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In her latest News Space blog, Age Space’s Annabel James looks at news and views about elderly care and carers…
Dementia that may not be Alzheimer’s…

You may have seen the headlines that millions of elderly people have a form of dementia that has been misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. One expert called it the most important dementia finding in years.

The condition, known as “Late”, shares similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s, but it is a distinct disease, the journal Brain reports.

It may partly explain why finding a dementia cure has failed so far.

Having a better understanding of Late might lead to the discovery of new treatments and researchers have written guidelines to help increase awareness and advance research into the newly defined disease.

Here’s more from BBC News

Let’s meet up on Monday!

The Rural Coffee Caravan – a charity addressing loneliness and isolation in Suffolk by providing social spaces in rural places via mobile community information cafes –  also manages MeetUpMondays, where commercial premises open up for all-welcome get-togethers. Take a look at their video:

MeetUpMondays™ - Together We Can End Loneliness - YouTube

Plenty of room on top!

What really is the secret to a happier life? Having a free bus pass!

Perhaps not much consolation to those of use who look unlikely to get one in the future, it seems those who do receive concessionary travel are more likely to enjoy a better quality of life. They have greater life satisfaction and fewer symptoms of depression  than those who do not, according to researchers from University College London.

Their study also discovered that older people with bus passes are more physically active and less socially isolated than those without one. The analysis comes after peers said that pensioners should be stripped of ‘outdated’ perks such as free bus passes to make Britain fairer for younger people.

The science of the sniff

Losing the ability to smell strong odours such as onions, petrol or lemons in later life could be a warning sign that an early death is approaching, a new study suggests.

It is known that losing the ability to smell often goes hand-in-hand with diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s as the neurodegenerative conditions kill off olfactory nerves needed to sense odours.

Now experts say it is important for older people to let their doctor know if their sense of smell begins to diminish as it could herald unseen problems. Read more from The Telegraph report

Voices from the past

Artificial intelligence software is being developed that asks lonely older people to recall memories from their lives. These are then transformed into a written and audio biography they can pass on to their children.

Memory Lane is a Swedish prototype for a voice-assisted, artificial intelligence (AI) tool that captures people’s life stories.

It works by asking the user questions about their life, then using their answers to ask related, intelligent questions to delve deeper into a topic, and hold a conversation in as “human” a way as possible.

Over days or weeks it remembers what a person has spoken about before, and organising this data into a “memory graph”, which structures people’s memories into chronology and level of importance.

Christian Souche, director at Accenture Interactive Innovation Centre, says that the aims were twofold; to enable older people to tell personal, unknown stories and leave them to younger generations of family or friends, and also to tackle feelings of social isolation by allowing them to talk freely.

“Voice is a fantastic channel with which to connect different generations,” he says. “It is super accessible and simple and means anyone can share and save their memories. Not only rich or famous people, who can hire someone to write a biography for them. People leave material goods, money and maybe facts about their life when they die, but rarely their full personalities. This is what we want to try to capture.” Read more here

And finally…

As we head into Dying Matters Week, how would you like to spend eternity as a flower bed?

In America, Washington appears set to become the first state to allow a burial alternative known as “natural organic reduction” — or human composting. This is an accelerated decomposition process that turns bodies into soil within weeks.

Katrina Spade, the founder of Recompose, came up with the idea — modelling it on a practice farmers have used for decades to dispose of livestock.

She modified that process a bit, and found that the use of wood chips, alfalfa and straw creates a mixture of nitrogen and carbon that accelerates natural decomposition.

Spade said that she doesn’t want to replace cremation or burial. Instead it offers a meaningful alternative that is also environmentally friendly. And do you know what? Resting in peace among the begonias doesn’t sound like such a bad idea!

The post A bus pass to meet-up on Memory Lane… appeared first on Age Space.

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It’s a horrifying fact that UK citizens are twice as likely to fall victim to fraud than any other crime type and scams cost the UK £5-£10 Billion a year.   Criminals target the most vulnerable, with the average age of a scam victim as 75. A Scam victim is 2.5 times more likely to end up in care within a year than their ‘non-scammed’ comparable neighbour.

We are really pleased to have teamed up with the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team to help raise awareness of scams, and importantly, ways to minimise getting caught out by them.

Scams come in many forms; uninvited contact is received by email, letter, telephone or in person, making false promises to con victims out of money. There are many of these types of scams but some of the most common include fake lotteries, deceptive prize draws or sweepstakes, clairvoyants, computer scams and romance scams. Postal, telephone and doorstep scams are often targeted specifically at disadvantaged consumers or those experiencing a period of vulnerability.

The criminals attempt to trick people with flashy, official looking documents or websites, or convincing telephone sales patter, with the aim of persuading them to send money, buy an overvalued or non-existent product, make a premium rate phone call or share their personal information. Doorstep scams are crimes carried out by bogus callers, rogue traders and unscrupulous sales people who call, often uninvited, at people’s homes under the guise of a legitimate business or trade.

The NTS Scams Team runs an initiative called Friends Against Scams (FAS) which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams. The FAS online training tool takes around 20 minutes to complete and can be found on the website www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/elearning/AgeSpace People can also complete the training at a face-to-face session if preferred and these events are advertised on the Friends Against Scams website.

Once someone has completed an awareness session, they become a Friend Against Scams and are asked to make a simple pledge (such as talk to family and friends about what they have learnt). The NTS Scams team are looking to train One Million Friends by 2020 and have so far reached just over 210,000.

For those who would like to do more after becoming a Friend, there is a short training video (also on the website) to become a SCAMchampion. SCAMchampions are volunteers who want to spread the message and hold their own FAS awareness sessions. Once registered they gain access to all of the session resources, they can advertise their sessions on the website and also update the amount of Friends they have trained.

We have pledged to Promote Friends Against Scams on our website to our users, our partners and their employees. AgeSpace will support the Friends Against Scams messaging through any media relations activity they can, including social media.

We would like to invite everyone to complete the online learning and help people in their community to avoid being scammed out of their hard earned money. Scams are fraud, fraud is a crime. For advice on where to report scams and to get extra help with these issues, please visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk. And to get in touch with the team.

The post Age Space teams up with Friends against Scams appeared first on Age Space.

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It’s a horrifying fact that UK citizens are twice as likely to fall victim to fraud than any other crime type and scams cost the UK £5-£10 Billion a year.   Criminals target the most vulnerable, with the average age of a scam victim as 75. A Scam victim is 2.5 times more likely to end up in care within a year than their ‘non-scammed’ comparable neighbour.

We are really pleased to have teamed up with the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team to help raise awareness of scams, and importantly, ways to minimise getting caught out by them.

Scams come in many forms; uninvited contact is received by email, letter, telephone or in person, making false promises to con victims out of money. There are many of these types of scams but some of the most common include fake lotteries, deceptive prize draws or sweepstakes, clairvoyants, computer scams and romance scams. Postal, telephone and doorstep scams are often targeted specifically at disadvantaged consumers or those experiencing a period of vulnerability.

The criminals attempt to trick people with flashy, official looking documents or websites, or convincing telephone sales patter, with the aim of persuading them to send money, buy an overvalued or non-existent product, make a premium rate phone call or share their personal information. Doorstep scams are crimes carried out by bogus callers, rogue traders and unscrupulous sales people who call, often uninvited, at people’s homes under the guise of a legitimate business or trade.

The NTS Scams Team runs an initiative called Friends Against Scams (FAS) which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams. The FAS online training tool takes around 20 minutes to complete and can be found on the website www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/elearning/AgeSpace People can also complete the training at a face-to-face session if preferred and these events are advertised on the Friends Against Scams website.

Once someone has completed an awareness session, they become a Friend Against Scams and are asked to make a simple pledge (such as talk to family and friends about what they have learnt). The NTS Scams team are looking to train One Million Friends by 2020 and have so far reached just over 210,000.

For those who would like to do more after becoming a Friend, there is a short training video (also on the website) to become a SCAMchampion. SCAMchampions are volunteers who want to spread the message and hold their own FAS awareness sessions. Once registered they gain access to all of the session resources, they can advertise their sessions on the website and also update the amount of Friends they have trained.

We have pledged to Promote Friends Against Scams on our website to our users, our partners and their employees. AgeSpace will support the Friends Against Scams messaging through any media relations activity they can, including social media.

We would like to invite everyone to complete the online learning and help people in their community to avoid being scammed out of their hard earned money. Scams are fraud, fraud is a crime. For advice on where to report scams and to get extra help with these issues, please visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk. And to get in touch with the team.

The post Age Space teams up with Friends against Scams appeared first on Age Space.

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850,000 people in the UK are affected by dementia, a figure set to rise to 1 million by 2021.
Another figure soon to be rising is the UK retirement age, subsequently there will be more people developing dementia whilst still at work. Now more than ever – Dementia Friendly Business needs to become a priority across the sectors.
The first step to becoming a Dementia Friendly Business, is to join your local Dementia Action Alliance (DAA). There are over 150 national organisations across England sharing best practice and taking action on dementia. The Norwich DAA has over 80 member organisations across various sectors pledging to
  • Train their staff to be aware of the impact of dementia
  • Review their products and processes to tackle the challenges customers and staff face
  • Change environments to ensure they are accessible for people living with dementia

A recent survey of  DAA Norwich members showed that 89% of staff reacted positively to joining the alliance. Businesses saw most improvement in customer service, training, publicity, networking and morale.

6 Business Benefits to becoming Dementia Friendly
  1. Competitive advantage: 83% of people with memory problems have switched their shopping habits to places that are more accessible. (Alzheimer’s Society, 2013)
  2. Increased revenue: Businesses will keep and build on existing custom, both from people living with the condition and from their carers, family and friends.
  3. Improved customer service: Increased knowledge and awareness of dementia will make staff more confident when dealing with all customers.
  4. Enhanced brand reputation: Becoming a Dementia Friendly Business will demonstrate social responsibility and customer value.
  5. Future-proofing: By making changes now, businesses will be anticipating a growing need from customers and staff living with or caring for someone with dementia.
  6. Complying with the law: Under the Equality Act (2010), organisations have a legal duty to ensure people are adequately protected and that access to services is as inclusive as possible. This includes making ‘reasonable adjustments’ for customers and employees with disabilities, including people living with dementia.

Norwich Airport sit on the steering group for the Norwich Dementia Action Alliance and Jamie Price, Airport Security Manager who is responsible for Special Airport Assistance, said:

“Being a member of the Dementia Action Alliance has been a huge benefit to our staff and passengers. It has allowed us to share best practice and work with organisations like Age Space and Age UK to develop our own programme of support. Our goal is to ensure that those living with hidden disabilities and their families have the opportunity to enjoy their journey through our airport. To receive all the help and support they need, promoting the freedom and confidence to travel. As a DAA member we have developed innovative tools like video walk-throughs so people with dementia and their carers know what to expect.  We actively encourage people to visit us before their day of travel so they can rehearse with our staff exactly what will happen. We’re committed to being a dementia friendly environment and our DAA membership is a huge support in achieving that.”

 

For more information joining the Dementia Action Alliance Norwich visit the website HERE or email Marie Lucas, NCDAA Coordinator – mariejoy.lucas@outlook.com

The post 6 Benefits to becoming a Dementia Friendly Business appeared first on Age Space.

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