Is late-life dependency increasing or not? A comparison of the Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (CFAS)

The Lancet,  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31575-1 

Little is known about how the proportions of dependency states have changed between generational cohorts of older people. This study aims to estimate years lived in different dependency states at age 65 years in 1991 and 2011, and make new projections of possible future demand for care.  The study estimates that further an extra 71 215 care home places could be required by 2025.

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When one door closes: Research into the closure and commissioning of care homes throughout England

Healthcare Property Consultants, April 2015

As care home operators seek to maintain quality of care in the face of inadequate local authority fee levels and rising costs, this research highlights the impact on registered bed levels throughout England. The research finds that the number of beds in newly registered homes mirrors the number of beds simultaneously falling out of the market and finds that several regions are showing a net bed reduction.

Click here to view the full report.

An occupational therapy intervention for residents with stroke related disabilities in UK care homes (OTCH): cluster randomised controlled trial

BMJ, 5 February 2015

The objective of the study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of an established programme of occupational therapy in maintaining functional activity and reducing further health risks from inactivity in care home residents living with stroke sequelae.

The cluster randomised control trial involved 1042 care home residents with a history of stroke or transient ischaemic attack, including those with language and cognitive impairments, not receiving end of life care. 114 homes (n=568 residents, 64% from homes providing nursing care) were allocated to the intervention arm and 114 homes (n=474 residents, 65% from homes providing nursing care) to standard care (control arm). Participating care homes were randomised between May 2010 and March 2012.

Results: 64% of the participants were women and 93% were white, with a mean age of 82.9 years. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups for all measures, personal characteristics, and diagnostic tests. Overall, 2538 occupational therapy visits were made to 498 participants in the intervention arm (mean 5.1 visits per participant). No adverse events attributable to the intervention were recorded. 162 (11%) died before the primary outcome time point, and 313 (30%) died over the 12 months of the trial. The primary outcome measure did not differ significantly between the treatment arms. The adjusted mean difference in Barthel index score at three months was 0.19 points higher in the intervention arm (95% confidence interval −0.33 to 0.70, P=0.48). Secondary outcome measures also showed no significant differences at all time points.

This large phase III study provided no evidence of benefit for the provision of a routine occupational therapy service, including staff training, for care home residents living with stroke related disabilities. The established three month individualised course of occupational therapy targeting stroke related disabilities did not have an impact on measures of functional activity, mobility, mood, or health related quality of life, at all observational time points. Providing and targeting ameliorative care in this clinically complex population requires alternative strategies.

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Don’t let care home residents slip through the dementia net – Alistair Burns

NHS England, 18 December 2014

Alistair Burns, NHS England’s National Clinical Director, has teamed up with two Dementia Ambassadors, Dan Harwood and Paul Twomey, to give their views on improving diagnosis in care homes – why, and how to do it.

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John Kennedy’s care home inquiry

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 25 October 2014

The final report of a personal inquiry into the crisis in UK care homes for older people.

Between May 2013 and May 2014, John Kennedy, the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust’s Director of Care Services, carried out an inquiry to discover how to address the crisis in the UK’s care homes, and to find out what makes a good care home.

During John’s inquiry, which built on existing JRF research, he spoke to a range of people involved in the care sector, and used social media to broaden the range of views.

Click here for further information and to download the report.

People need more support when choosing a care home, says College of Occupational Therapists

College of Occupational Therapists, 7 October 2014

The College of Occupational Therapists has called for more support when choosing care for an elderly relative after it was found 8 in 10 people find it more stressful than getting divorced or moving house.  The survey of Gransnet and Mumsnet users, commissioned by a Care Quality Commission (CQC), also revealed that many people in residential care are not having their likes and dislikes taken into account.

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