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Kellyn Lee

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The role of
social care in
supporting

YOUNG
ADULT
CARERS

 

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TAKE PART IN A SURVEY

Do you work in a care home?

Researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University are researching the impact of COVID 19 on staff working in nursing and residential care homes across the UK and Ireland. We know the pandemic continues to present many difficulties for people who live and work in the care home sector and we believe it is important to hear the voices of the people at the frontline.

We are inviting you to tell us about your experiences by completing an anonymous online questionnaire.

If you work in any role, in one or more care homes, please help us to learn more about your experiences with COVID 19. 

If you would like more information about this study Information about the research please click here

If you would like to complete the survey it can be found here

“When you woke this morning the clothes you planned to wear were gone. The shower gel smelt weird – it wasn’t your usual. There was no hairdryer to dry your hair. You wanted to make a hot drink but you had no access to a kettle … How is your day going? How do you feel? Welcome to the lives of many people with dementia living in care homes.”

This is the opening of a new training programme for care home staff developed by Dr Kellyn Lee, chartered psychologist and research fellow in ageing and dementia at the University of Southampton. Called material citizenship, it aims to get staff thinking about the importance of mundane, functional objects to our lives and identities, and how giving their residents agency over these things can significantly improve their wellbeing.

Charlotte Gilbert the general manager and the care home’s senior care assistant, Becci Fletcher, were among five staff from Brendoncare Knightwood who participated in the first one-day material citizenship course (moved online due to Covid). They credit the training with improving their practice as well as making them feel good about their work and the difference they can make – a welcome morale boost, mid-pandemic. Crucially, they say, it has “definitely” made life better for people in their care.

“One of our residents really wanted to polish her own room with a particular polish,” says Gilbert. Initially this was seen as unnecessary: the cleaning staff were there to clean. “But now we’ve got her the polish she wanted. She polishes her room and it makes it smell like home.”

“Another resident goes around collecting up all the trays after breakfast,” adds Fletcher. “Before the training we would say, ‘don’t worry, we’ll do that’ but now we let her do it. She enjoys it. She feels she’s looking after people and it gives her more sense of worth.”

Lee has now secured another year of funding, from the National Institute for Health Research’s Applied Research Collaboration Wessex, to roll out the training to more care homes. Sessions for other Brendoncare homes and Hallmark Care Homes will begin in February with more to follow.

Fletcher and Gilbert are in no doubt about the value of the rollout: “We feel passionately that everybody should have this training. If you take people’s everyday things away they lose independence and who they are. It may only mean changing 10 minutes of the day but it can make a massive difference.”

 

To access the full article click here

Care Home Research: Progress, Pitfalls and Potential

Speaker: Professor Adam Gordon

Date/Time: Tuesday 2nd February, 10:00 – 11:00am

“Adam is Professor of Care of Older People at the University of Nottingham, a Consultant Geriatrician at the Royal Derby Hospital and President Elect of the British Geriatrics Society.  He has been doing research with care homes for over a decade and has played an active role in writing guidelines for, providing support to, and conducting research with the care home sector during the pandemic.  This has included work on peer-support for care home managers during the pandemic, point-of-care testing in care homes, and work to develop and lead a national RCT platform for COVID prophylaxis in care homes.

This webinar is jointly organised by PenARC , as the inaugural event in its Executive Group Communications Seminar Series, and the University of Exeter and Care Homes Knowledge Collaboration (ExCHANGE), and will be of interest to all researchers who have an interest in working with care homes, as well as care home providers, staff, and other professionals working alongside care homes.

The seminar proper will be followed by an optional half-hour networking session, 11:00 – 11:30, for those working in and around care homes and care homes research in the South West.”

To book you place on this seminar click here

This talk will be recorded and the recording shared publicly via the PenARC website.

“This report aims to provide an overview of data and policies in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations for people who use and provide long-term care. It is a “living report” that will be updated regularly, please email s.e.lauter@lse.ac.uk if you would like to contribute or aware of relevant sources of information.

  • The report shows data for populations that either use and provide long-term care or are likely to do so. So far very few countries routinely share data on the characteristics of people who are receiving vaccinations. In all other countries the data has been announced by official sources to the media.
  • On the 11th January we have found data on COVID-19 vaccinations in care homes for 8 countries, and for some regions/nations in Spain and the United Kingdom.
  • 2 countries (Denmark and Israel) and a region in Spain (Asturias) report having completed first doses of vaccination for all care home residents and staff. Over half of all care home residents are reported to have been given a first dose of vaccine in Catalonia (Spain), Northern Ireland and Scotland, and over a quarter in Croatia, Cyprus and Germany, and close to 15% in Italy and the United States.
  • The share of doses of vaccines given to people living in care homes ranges from 6% in Italy to 73% in Croatia.
  • We have not found official data, so far, on the share of care home residents who either refuse the vaccination, cannot consent or are excluded from vaccination due to other reasons.
  • Initial review of prioritization documents shows that all countries prioritise vaccinations for healthcare staff, and, with slight variations in order, care home residents and staff, older people and, less frequently, people who rely on care in the community and unpaid carers.
  • Indonesia is an exception in that the working age population is currently prioritised and not older people.
  • There are few mentions of people living with dementia or people with learning disabilities.”

The full report is available here

Authors: Shoshana Lauter, Klara Lorenz-Dant, Adelina Comas-Herrera (Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science) and Eleonora Perobelli (Observatory on Long-Term Care, CERGAS SDA Bocconi)

“The COVID-19 crisis has brought with it many challenges, but few have been as striking as those facing care homes. Working in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners, THIS Institute is seeking to appoint a fellow to lead a study aimed at co-producing a vision for high quality primary care for people who live in care homes and a theory of change for how it might be achieved within current structures and resources.

The successful applicant will remain employed by their own university or organisation, and will be part of a vibrant professional learning community supported by THIS Institute. The fellowship should be completed in 12-15 months, and can be undertaken full-time or part-time (minimum 0.6 FTE). It is expected that the fellowship will begin during Spring 2021.”

Application deadline 22 January 2021

 

To find out more about this opportunity click here

“An evidence-based programme for care home residents living with dementia improved their quality of life and reduced agitation and other symptoms of dementia. A major study across the UK found that the Well-being and Health for People Living with Dementia (WHELD) programme was effective and cost less to deliver than usual care.

The WHELD programme supports care home staff to deliver patient-centred interventions for residents with dementia. It seeks to reduce reliance on antipsychotic drugs and uses social interaction, personalised activities and exercise to improve care.

Most person-centred interventions used in care homes are not based on scientific evidence. WHELD was tested in a large clinical trial, which showed that it improved quality of life for people with dementia. The programme also reduced agitation and the overall burden of neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression or aggression.  A reduction in the number of hospital and GP visits made the approach less expensive to deliver than usual care.

What’s the issue?

A third of people with dementia in the UK (288,000) live in care homes. Those in care homes tend to have more severe dementia than those living in the community. Agitation and a range of other behavioural and psychological symptoms make it challenging to care for these people.

Person-centred care is the gold standard of care for people with dementia. Yet previous research has found that many care home residents have as little as two minutes of social interaction each day. There is currently no effective, evidence-based intervention to help staff care for these patients without using drugs.

In the first stages of this programme, researchers reviewed 40 studies on psychosocial interventions for people with dementia in care homes. These studies supported the use of person-centred approaches such as reminiscence therapy, in which photographs or other mementoes are used to help someone recall life events and memories. Walking, seated exercise, circle dance or other pleasant activities of the person’s choice were also found to help.

The researchers then looked at training manuals for person-centred care in dementia. Only four out of 170 manuals described interventions with proven benefits.

The team developed the first version of the WHELD programme based on the most practical and effective therapies. It combined person-centred care, management of agitation and non-drug approaches. A first randomised controlled trial tested this version of WHELD in 16 care homes over a period of nine months. It found that reviews of antipsychotic medication halved the use of these drugs. This increased the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia unless the medication review was combined with personalised activities. The combination of review plus social interaction significantly improved quality of life and reduced the risk of dying among people with dementia by 30%.  Exercise reduced symptoms of agitation.”

For more details on this programme click here

The NIHR Research Design Service South Central are offering an Essential Guide to Grant Applications masterclass.

The masterclass on writing a convincing funding application with good structure, flow and argument will take place online from Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th March 2021.

You can register your interest for on our Eventbrite page

Two opportunities are currently being advertised:

“Opportunity 1

Expressions of interest are invited from senior social care colleagues who are interested in developing social care research in the region.  This one-year post will enable a senior social care colleague to undertake one session (one half day) per week of dedicated research activity.  You will work closely with other members of the project including, an academic colleague from the University of Lincoln (CRN speciality lead for Health Services Research), a fixed term Research Associate, the CRN East Midlands and relevant stakeholders.

The main focus of the post is to understand the research agenda within social care, identify key research priorities and consider how they can translate into NIHR CRN portfolio research.  The role will facilitate connections between academic partners and relevant stakeholders, leading to the development of a network of stakeholders.

Click here for details on submitting an expression of interest.

Opportunity 2

Applicants are invited for a Research Associate for a period of one year to contribute to the development of the social care research culture and research capacity in the area.

Working closely with colleagues from the University of Lincoln and the CRN, the post holder will contribute to a shift change in the priority given to social care research and the achievement of funded research within the region.  The post holder will develop an understanding of the landscape of social care in Lincolnshire and establish a group of key stakeholders who will contribute to the development of social care research awareness and potential research priorities. In order to improve capacity for driving research developments in agreed priority areas the post holder will network and collaborate with social care providers, academic partners and research forums and organisations within the region.”

For more information click here

If any of our ENRICH homes are interested in finding out more, please contact Mo Ray (mray@lincoln.ac.uk) for an informal discussion – this is a wonderful opportunity to help shape social care research in our area.

The National Institute for Health Research are funding exciting new pre-doctoral opportunities for Local Authority and LA commissioned service based individuals.

“This pilot scheme is being designed, alongside a companion pre-doctoral fellowship scheme, to support individuals based in local authorities or local authority commissioned services to develop as health and/or social care researchers.
The scheme will fund individuals of any profession to obtain a PhD by research whilst concurrently developing their professional skills within their existing employment.
Although full details have yet to be formalised, this scheme will be fully salaried and mirror the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme’s doctoral scheme. Prospective applicants should refer to the applicant guidance documentation for that scheme in the interim, ignoring the ICA specific eligibility criteria that pertain to professional status and clinical (as opposed to broader professional) practice.
Eligibility for support will be dependent on a proposal that includes a partnership with, or employment by, a local authority or local authority commissioned service.
This new funding represents a completely new and exciting opportunity for all individuals based within local authorities or local authority commissioned services, but especially for those without social worker or clinician status. Local authority associated clinicians and social workers are welcome to apply for support from this focussed scheme or from the ICA Programme, but cannot apply to both concurrently.”

Indicative timescales

Application forms available: 1 March 2021
Deadline for application submission: Late April 2021
Award uptake by successful applicants: From 1 April 2022
For more information click here

The National Institute for Health Research are funding exciting new pre-doctoral opportunities for Local Authority and LA commissioned service based individuals.

“This pilot scheme is being designed, alongside a companion doctoral fellowship scheme, to support individuals based in local authorities or local authority commissioned services to develop as health and/or social care researchers.
The scheme will fund individuals of any profession to undertake Masters level academic training and prepare an application for a doctoral fellowship whilst retaining their existing employment and practice.
Although full details have yet to be formalised, this scheme will be fully salaried and mirror the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme’s pre-doctoral scheme. Prospective applicants should refer to the applicant guidance documentation for that scheme in the interim, ignoring the ICA specific eligibility criteria that pertain to professional status and clinical (as opposed to broader professional) practice.
Eligibility for support will be dependent on a proposal that includes employment by a local authority or local authority commissioned service.
This new funding represents a completely new and exciting opportunity for all individuals based within local authorities or local authority commissioned services, but especially for those without social worker or clinician status. Local authority associated clinicians and social workers are welcome to apply for support from this focussed scheme or from the ICA Programme, but cannot apply to both concurrently.”

Indicative timescales

Application forms available: 28 January 2021
Deadline for application submission: 18 March 2021
Award uptake by successful applicants: from 1 September 2021
For more information click here