Maintaining Activities for Older Adults during Covid-19

Maintaining activities for Older Adults during Covid-19

Click here to watch the YouTube video to understand the needs of people living with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Activities Guide below will signpost you to excellent activities suitable for such population.

This guide to online resources for those providing care for people with dementia, is a resource that Health Innovation Network has compiled in collaboration with CHAIN members.

Activities for Older Adults During Covid-19 – aims to support the provision of free to use dementia friendly activities for older adult’s in mental health inpatient settings, Care Homes, supported housing and to those living in their own homes during the national response to Covid-19. You can download using the link below. Please share this guide with your colleagues and other relevant organisations.


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Adventure before Dementia

Adventure before Dementia

Written by Charlene Chigumira, Trainee Project Manager for Healthy Ageing and Patient Safety.

The Healthy Ageing team attended the 13th annual Dementia Congress in Brighton last month, and it was even more special than I had imagined it would be. 

Wednesday opened with people with dementia and their carers from DEEP (Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project) and Tide (Together in Dementia Everyday) sharing their unique experiences with us (and inspiring the title of this post). Alzheimer’s International took the stage and shone a light on how informal carers were providing 82 billion hours of support to people living with dementia by 2015, a statistic that still surprises me. This figure is why they believe that both formal and informal carers should be viewed as ‘essential partners in the planning and provision of care in all settings according to the needs and wishes of people with dementia.’ 

The lived experiences of people with dementia and their carers were weaved in throughout the congress as they spoke in the different break-out sessions on various topics including culture, assisted living arrangements, music therapy and spiritual support. One ‘End of Life Care’ session I attended hosted by Hospice UK and Dementia UK opened with a carer explaining why every day care matters to her, and how it maintains the dignity and individuality of a person living with dementia. Subsequently, a dementia care advocate, who has the condition herself shared some of the ways it has changed her life, and how the right care can enable her to live ‘interdependently’ (with support when needed, but a degree of independence remaining). Personally, I don’t think this session could have come at a better time, as my team is currently working on a project around end of life care in care homes. I left with a deeper understanding of why co-production is so important in our project work. 

Finally, one of the many highlights of the congress was hearing Paola Barbarino from Alzheimer’s Disease International highlight the brilliant ways countries all over the world are supporting people living with dementia. Here were 3 of my favourite case studies:

1. China (The Yellow Bracelet Project) 

‘In 2012, the Yellow Bracelet Project was initiated to encourage safety and prevent people with dementia getting lost. Yellow Bracelet has now become a symbol of affection, and continues to attract attention across society’. More here

2. The National Dementia Carers Network (Scotland) 

The National Dementia Carers network in Scotland has been ‘fully involved in Scotland’s two National Dementia Strategies, including work on testing models of community support, improving acute care in hospitals and the monitoring of better support’. More here  

3. LMIC spotlight (Costa Rica) 

Costa Rica was the first LMIC to introduce a dementia plan in 2014. Asociación Costarricense de Alzheimer y otras Demencias Asociadas (ASCADA) works closely with the city council to achieve a Dementia friendly community. More here 

New tech drive to solve key London challenges including dementia

Clinician looking at digital images

Mayor unveils new tech drive to solve pressing London challenges

The Mayor has launched a major city-wide initiative to harness London’s tech talent during London Tech Week (11-17 June). Health Innovation Network is a challenge partner working to help the Mayor identify digital solutions.

Commenting on the launch this week (11 June) of the Mayor of London’s Civic Innovation Challenge to use tech and data to tackle key challenges, Health Innovation Network Commercial Director Anna King said:

“We’re proud to support the Mayor of London for the first year of the Civic Innovation Challenge. It’s an opportunity for innovative start ups and SMEs to help solve some of London’s pressing challenges, including on health and inequalities. We’re particularly pleased to see the focus on improving dementia treatment and support services for underrepresented communities in London, to help people have more healthy years of life.

“We work with small companies with big ideas every day to help solve problems facing the NHS, so we’ve no doubt that there are fantastic ideas out there to meet the challenges the Mayor has announced. We’d encourage companies to get involved and help us develop new solutions for Londoners.”

The Civic Innovation Challenge is a key initiative within the Mayor of London’s Smarter London Together roadmap published this week. The aim of the challenge is to match tech startups with leading companies and public bodies to tackle some of London’s most pressing problems, including inequality, climate change and London’s ageing population.

Health Innovation Network is working with Our Healthier South East London STP to connect start-ups and SMEs to bid for £15k grants to identify digital solutions to dementia amongst Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across south London.

Interested innovators should apply here.

Health Innovation Network begins partnership with Alzheimer’s Society

Health Innovation Network begins partnership with Alzheimer’s Society

Health Innovation Network has committed to taking action on dementia by uniting with Alzheimer’s Society in a strategic partnership to change the landscape of dementia care forever.

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with 1 million people set to be living with the condition by 2021.

Having collaborated on a number of successful initiatives including Dear-GP and the “Red Bag” scheme, Health Innovation Network and Alzheimer’s Society are launching a formal partnership to tackle dementia together.

Through the partnership we will support one another in the development of new initiatives to ensure timely diagnosis and develop practical tools to improve health outcomes for people with dementia.  Each organisation will use its expertise and networks to increase the reach and impact of successful initiatives and facilitate the sharing of best practice in dementia care across health and social care.

Zoe Lelliott, Deputy Chief Executive at Health Innovation Network, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. As one of the leading voluntary sector organisations at the forefront of championing the needs of people with dementia at a national level, we are excited about the opportunities this new partnership will bring for the benefit of people with dementia in south London’,

Tim McLachlan, Director of Local Services at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia devastates lives, slowly stripping people of their memories, relationships and identities. As the UK’s biggest killer, taking action with other charities and health organisations is vital to help us understand more about this devastating illness.

“I am delighted that the Health Innovation Network is uniting with us this Dementia Action Week. Whoever you are, whatever you are going through, no one should face dementia alone.”