Dementia: Lifestyle changes that could lower your risk

Nearly everyone can lower their risk of dementia, even if it runs in the family, by living a healthy lifestyle, research suggests. The study of nearly 200,000 people showed the risk fell by up to a third. The team at the University of Exeter said the results were exciting, empowering and showed people were not doomed to get dementia. The findings were revealed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

What counts as a healthy lifestyle?

The researchers gave people a healthy lifestyle score based on a combination of exercise, diet, alcohol and smoking.

This is an example of someone who scored well:

  • Doesn’t currently smoke
  • Cycles at normal pace for two-and-a-half hours a week
  • Eats a balanced diet that includes more than three portions of fruit and vegetables a day, eats fish twice a week and rarely eats processed meat
  • Drinks up to one pint of beer a day

And an unhealthy one?

  • Currently smokes regularly
  • Does no regular exercise
  • Eats a diet that includes less than three servings of fruit and vegetables a week, and includes two or more servings of processed meat and of red meat a week
  • Drinks at least three pints of beer a day

To read more, go to: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48963215

Why are STIs on the rise in older people?

Whilst STIs are on the rise in virtually every age group in the UK, there is a notable upwards trend in older people. Changing attitudes to sex and relationships and more casual sex among older age groups is contributing to a sexual health crisis.

A recent report from Public Health England made the case for better sexual health services and education clear. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England increased 5% between 2017 and 2018. Virtually every age group saw a rise in most infections but gonorrhoea and chlamydia saw the biggest proportional increase in people over 65. Cases of gonorrhoea increased 42% from 236 to 336 and chlamydia by 24% from 416 to 517.

To read this article in full go to: https://patient.info/news-and-features/why-are-stis-on-the-rise-in-older-people

CASCADE: the launch of Harmony House

The CASCADE Model promotes a holistic, person-centred approach for people living with dementia to maximise independence and quality of life. Harmony House promises to provide guests with personally tailored support that meets their individual needs, whatever they might be. Our guesthouse will be run by highly-trained staff who are committed to making even the shortest of stays a positive experience.

On 4 October Medway Community Health will officially launch Harmony House, and you’re invited! As part of this grand opening, they will offer tours of the brand new guesthouse; the opportunity to talk to staff about the service and facilities available; and additionally, the chance to pop into the ourZone open day on-site and find out more about activities and opportunities.

To find out more, go to: https://www.medwaycommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services/a-z-services/cascade

Perinatal mental health issues: PATH & NHS

Our Interreg 2Seas PATH project is working to raise awareness of, destigmatise and prevent perinatal mental health issues. Up to one in five women will experience a mental health problem in pregnancy, or the first year after birth, with up to three to five per cent experiencing a serious psychiatric disorder. 

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the NHS has committed to continued investment in perinatal mental health care for mothers and their partners who need specialist support during and following pregnancy.

NHS England and NHS Improvement in the North are supporting health professionals to ensure that they have access to guidance and advice, so that women with, or at risk of developing, perinatal mental health issues are fully supported throughout pregnancy and following birth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9OSN9APkUQ&feature=youtu.be

Should we be renaming NCDs?

In honour of this week’s 2nd Global Week for Action on NCDs C3 Collaborating for Health have a quick survey for you and could use your expertise.

As you may know, there has been ongoing debate about the need to rename non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Why a new name? The term NCDs has been criticised for being outdated, not descriptive enough, misleading, and unfitting for conveying the gravity of this number one killer in the world. 

There have been a few suggestions for alternative names, each with their pros and cons. As a ‘fun’ exercise this Global Action on NCDs week we’re reaching out to you, our creative network, to see if you can help answer our questions so we can collectively brainstorm a better term for NCDs.

TICC: Latest news

Our Interreg 2Seas TICC (Transforming Integrated Care in the Community) project is working to create systemic change in health & social care, providing services that are better suited to our ageing population by addressing their holistic needs. This is being tested via the implementation of the Buurtzorg integrated care at home model which consists of self-managing teams of 12 staff working at neighbourhood level handling every aspect of care & business.

All 8 delivery partners (including 3 in the UK) have launched their first Buurtzorg-inspired teams, following last year’s successful learning process.

Many partners have already moved on to further teams, and are exploring other health/care settings to spread the word.

Alongside this, all teams and partners are contributing to the collaborative process around identifying and resolving the barriers and challenges to this new, self-managing approach.  French partners, in particular, have gained the ear of national bodies, and are seeking to change the frameworks which restrict the approach – and teams in the UK and Belgium are engaging with a view to influencing in a similar way.

ENSURE: Vulnerable People – Everybody counts

Social exclusion is defined as a: “process through which individuals or groups are wholly or partially excluded from full participation in the society in which they live” (European Foundation, 1995). Across the 2Seas region health/social care providers have become aware of a growing number of socially excluded vulnerable people whose needs are not recognized/met by current structures & services. At present services are accessed by allocating people a pre-determined “label” eg autistic. ENSURE will reach both the significant number of people who do not fit these labels & are passed from one service to another without attaining support as well as those who do not access support despite meeting the criteria. ENSURE will provide a simple, effective solution to prevent their situation worsening & causing great cost to them & society. It recognises that services are failing these people & provides a cost-effective system redesign to prevent vulnerability in our communities.

PATH’s launch in Southampton with a Teddy Bears Picnic

Our EU-funded Interreg 2Seas PATH project, focusing on perinatal mental health, was launched on the 27th of August in Southampton. The project’s mascot in Southampton, Peri the PATH bear, was on hand to welcome families in the area to a Teddy Bears Picnic in order to raise awareness of and destigmatise perinatal mental health issues. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who attended and was a great way to kick off the project that will run until September 2022.

For more information about the project, follow us on Twitter @2SeasPATH

The Second Global Week for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) 2-8 September

As we get closer to the Second Global Week for Action on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) 2-8 September 2019, the NCD Alliance invites you to start sharing your plans for the week through enoughncds.com.

The Week for Action on NCDs will harness the strengths of the NCD community and momentum toward the UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on UHC on 23rd September. We are unifying the NCD movement and beyond around our right to health to say: ‘ENOUGH. Ensuring Healthy Lives for All: Noncommunicable Diseases and Universal Health Coverage.’

To read more about this, go to: https://enoughncds.com/8wks-to-2019-w4a/

Meet the first European country to legalise cannabis: Luxembourg

Calling on its EU neighbours to relax their drug laws, Luxembourg’s health minister confirmed plans to become the first European country to legalise cannabis production and consumption.

Residents over the age of 18 are expected to be able to buy cannabis for recreational use legally within two years. Nevertheless, the state will regulate production and distribution through a cannabis agency. Draft legislation is expected to be unveiled later this year providing further detail on the types of cannabis that will be on sale and the level of tax that will be imposed.

To read more about this, go to: https://www.healtheuropa.eu/first-european-country-legalise-cannabis-luxembourg/92793/