Saturday, June 27, 2015

More dementia web resources

Here are some more sites about dementia, in no particular order.

NHS Choices' dementia pages, with links to information on specific types of dementia, a forum, and the option of Dementia Information Service emails.  This is a series of weekly emails, lasting six weeks, aimed at people recently diagnosed with dementia, or their families.  The first covers "what is dementia" and has links to sources of further information.

Age UK's dementia pages, which include information on using music.  There are separate pages on early dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society –  what is dementia, living with dementia, local services, symptoms, publications, research, training.  There is a Dementia Brain Tour.  The Dementia Knowledge Centre contains references to articles and books, although some full text is restricted access. The Knowledge Centre also contains resource lists (assistive technology, Alzheimer’s Cafes, and Books written by persons with dementia, to name but three).

Alzheimer’s Research UK is a charity that funds research.  The site has information about initiatives to help with experimental design and research, as well as information about dementia.

Dementia UK works to improve quality of life for people living with dementia, and runs the Admiral Nurse Service, providing specialist dementia nurses.  Site also includes information about Life Story Work, developing a biography of a person to enhance their care.

AT Dementia has information on assistive technology, what there is and where to get it.  This includes technology to help with washing, shopping, preparing food, mobility, and using television and computers.  

The Guardian’s articles about dementia are at

Friday, June 26, 2015

Dementia web resources

An earlier post describes the Dementia Friends initiative of the Alzheimer's Society.   Here are a few useful looking web resources to give you more information about dementia, and about living with dementia. 

Social Care Institute for Excellence: Dementia Gateway
Extensive collection of information, resources and elearning (some of which is used as part of the Dementia Champions scheme, which is what can come after being a Dementia Friend).   Material is for care workers, people living with dementia and their friends and family.   There is information about signs of dementia and about what happens after a diagnosis.  The Resources page includes further research to read about the topics covered in the Gateway.

Royal College of Nursing: Dementia
Information about the RCN's work on dementia, plus other resources.The College has a programme to develop dementia care in hospitals, and a "Triangle of Care" project to involve carers.  Their Online Dementia Resource includes resources for carers, elearning, material to help in understanding dementia, resources relating to different care settings, and information on where to research further, which is in fact a page about searching skills and library resources.

Clinical Knowledge Summaries: Dementia
Evidence based summary for primary care practitioners.

NICE: Dementia
NICE Pathway, Guidelines, commissioning guides, and advice relating to care of people with dementia, including drug treatment.

NICE Evidence Search: Dementia
A search of this excellent resource turns up quality assured information from many places, including Social Care Online (a database produced by SCIE).  Information from SCO includes material for housing workers, and about dementia friendly environments.    Other sources in NICE Evidence Search include Age UK and Alzheimer's Society.

More in due course!

Dementia Friends

Dementia Friends is an awareness raising project of the Alzheimer's Society, and I recently attended a training session run at Leicester City Council.

To become a Dementia Friend, you sign up on the Dementia Friends website, watch a video introduction, attend a one hour training session, and then pledge to turn your new knowledge into action.   That action might be to befriend and talk to someone you know who is living with dementia, or it might be volunteering or campaigning.  It might be acting differently because you are more aware of what it might be like to live with dementia. It might be telling other people about this scheme.

The training made the point very well that the issue is not the person with dementia doing things we might find odd or frustrating, but the way that we deal with that behaviour.  The exercises made us realise that dementia affects different people in different ways, and that it is possible to have quality of life while living with dementia.  We wrote instructions for making a cup of tea, and realised how complicated "everyday" things are if you have memory problems or are disorientated.

As an action, I shall be checking that at work we have up to date resources that will help our medical and social work students be dementia friendly.   As part of that I will put some web resources in a separate post.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

3D printing

Last Sunday, the University of Sheffield (with the help of Sheffield Hallam University) held an event to mark National Women in Engineering Day (which is today).  In the city's Winter Gardens, students and staff, most (but not all) of them women, helped my son and I build tetrahedrons (tetrahedra?) out of sticks and elastic bands, and a rocket out of balsa wood.  We met robots, saw how candy floss is made, and extracted DNA from strawberries.  The balsa wood rocket was supposed to be a plane, but the students on the stand were very adaptable to my son's wishes to build a rocket, which he has since taken to school to tell his teacher all about what he did at the event.  I don't think it has occurred to him that some people think some jobs are for men and others for women, but if it ever does, taking him to events like this will help him realise the folly of such thoughts.

And they had a 3D printer.  I'd heard about these, but not seen one, and it was an ideal opportunity to find out more.

NASA have used them to print components for spacecraft.  This one had produced cogs and other items, and a model dinosaur.  They can be used to produce bone for bone grafting, and the possibilities for their use in medicine go further than that.  

A search of PubMed for 3d printing turns up over a thousand items, and reveals the existence of a MeSH term Printing, Three-Dimensional, which has so far been applied to 120 items (thus possibly demonstrating the need for searching using free text and controlled vocabulary!).

A review from the end of 2014 by Mahiben Maruthappu and Bruce Keogh in the BMJ (1) is a good introduction to its uses.  Blueprints can be downloaded from the internet for things like replacement heart valves, 3D printing can be combined with medical imaging to produce personalised prostheses and grafts, and there are possibilities for producing tissue.  The article also discusses regulation.

The Guardian is collecting its articles about 3D printing here and the New Scientist here (login or subscription may be needed to see the full articles).    The Museum of Science and Industry  in Manchester currently has an exhibition and the exhibition website has links to more information.   The Science Museum in London also has information.


1. Maruthappu M, Keogh B. How might 3D printing affect clinical practice? 
BMJ. 2014 Dec 30;349:g7709. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g7709. PubMed PMID: 25550064.