Research: Vitamin D deficiency linked to dementia risk

Some fantastic research carried out at the University of Exeter has discovered a link between Vitamin D and a higher risk of dementia. (Source: Alzheimer’s Society)

People with very low levels of vitamin D in the blood may be twice as likely to develop dementia, according to a large British study published in Neurology on 6 August 2014. According to the research, those with low levels of vitamin D in the blood were 53 per cent more likely to develop any form of dementia, and those with severe vitamin D deficiencies were at a 125% greater risk.

Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society said:

‘Shedding light on risk factors for dementia is one of the most important tasks facing today’s health researchers. While earlier studies have suggested that a lack of the sunshine vitamin is linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, this study found that people with very low vitamin D levels were more than twice as likely to develop any kind of dementia.

‘During this hottest of summers, hitting the beach for just 15 minutes of sunshine is enough to boost your vitamin D levels. However, we’re not quite ready to say that sunlight or vitamin D supplements will reduce your risk of dementia. Large scale clinical trials are needed to determine whether increasing vitamin D levels in those with deficiencies can help prevent dementia from developing.’

At Sussex Grange, we encourage our residents and our clients in the community to get outside and see the sky – even just for a few minutes! It can be the difference between having a bad day and a good day, and lifts the mood of our residents in the house when the sun is shining. There is clearly further research to take place, but this study could have an impact on the future of dementia. For more information please read the news article directly.

Age UK: Don’t cut care petition – what could it mean for you?

How much time do you spend thinking about getting dressed in the morning to get ready for work or college / school? Probably very little time at all, however, for some elderly people, getting dressed can sap all their energy for most of the morning. We take some of these tasks for granted, but for the elderly, they are a huge undertaking, especially as the colder weather approaches, and the days become shorter. Right now, more than a million older people are left to struggle by each day without any support, and this number is growing all the time.

Ferocious cuts to funding for care at home mean that many older people are sacrificing their dignity because they can’t get the support they need. This is because unlike your GP or local hospital, services to help people stay safe and independent at home are mainly arranged by local councils, whose budgets have been severely cut.

Spending on services like home carers, meals on wheels, and day care has dropped by more than £1 billion in the last five years. This is having a huge knock-on effect on the NHS, where each year £669 million is being spent because older people are finding themselves trapped in hospital for days or even weeks, despite being well enough to leave, simply because there isn’t support available for them in their community.

You can do something about this – direct to the government. Sign the petition online to encourage the government to invest in care for older people. The petition is also available to print and send by post once signatures have been obtained, but this could mean the difference between someone having a hot meal every day and a wash over going months on end without washing, and eating toast as it is the only meal they can make easily.


Recent events at Sussex Grange for our residents

Some recent events that have been taking place at Sussex Grange have included baking classes – making a traditional sponge, along with quizzes, board games and film afternoons.

During the installation of our lovely new kitchen, the staff coped admirably with the temporary kitchen and the residents enjoyed a few different meals including take-away fish & chips from the Riviera. Now that the installation is complete the new kitchen looks fantastic and normal service has been resumed with Sue’s wonderful cooking.

Out in the garden, Richard has started to clear some of the bushes on the eastern boundary – this is already letting in a lot more light and will look great once the new shrubs are planted.

But the most exciting event was a visit from Tinker. Ros, one of our lovely carers, brought Tinker in to say hello and she caused great delight among the residents, who loved having kisses from the puppy, along with some well-deserved strokes as she was a superstar puppy and really well behaved with her fans! The photos demonstrate how much Tinker was welcomed by all!

Sussex Grange organises regular events for the residents to encourage them to take part in activities and to get some good discussions going. For more information about availability at Sussex Grange, or our respite care options, please contact Karen directly.

Sussex Grange residents commemorate Battle of Britain flypast

The residents and staff of Sussex Grange braved the strong winds and intermittent blue sky and rain showers to meet in the garden at Sussex Grange to watch the 75th anniversary for the Battle of Britain flypast by the 40-strong Spitfires, Hurricanes and Bombers. The planes took off from nearby Goodwood and flew over the city of Chichester and over our care home in Selsey! We all got some great views of the planes as they flew low over the top of the house, with Tom Jameson climbing a wall (safely!) to get a better viewing position!

Although it was a bit chilly, everyone agreed it was an amazing tribute to witness and some of our residents were able to talk about the Battle of Britain in 1940. It was a momentous day and our location offered great views as the planes headed off towards the channel. We warmed up afterwards with hot tea and cakes, giving the residents and visitors an opportunity to talk about the day.

Care Home Open Day 2015 success

The latest statistics demonstrate that the 2015 Care Home Open Day (CHOD) was the largest ever event and caused a stir across Twitter with over 4000 care homes across the globe participating. There were over 800 more care homes joining in for 2015 compared to previous years, demonstrating the success, usefulness and value in such an event – a great success for the care home industry.

The purpose of CHOD is for people to learn more about the care homes in their communities and for the care home staff to demonstrate the fantastic work that they do. The theme for the 20  15 CHOD was ‘The Arts’ and ‘Valuing Staff’ – this theme really engaged the local community and visitors were welcomed into Sussex Grange for afternoon tea and cake.

The 2016 CHOD is scheduled for Friday 17th June 2016 and gives care homes the opportunity to make links with local communities and share the positive aspects to care homes. The Sussex Grange team are looking forward to taking part in next year’s CHOD and welcoming new visitors to our home.

For more information about the care at Sussex Grange, both residential and in the community, please speak to Tom directly.

Care Home Open Day 2015Care Home Open Day 2015

Care Home Open Day 2015

Developing dementia-friendly communities

In recent news developments, a number of leading health organisations and charities have collaborated to produce a ‘Code of practice’ for the purpose of making England’s towns and cities dementia-friendly.

The concept of dementia-friendly communities allows people suffering with dementia to continue to live within their local communities with the appropriate care and personnel to safeguard them. This is key development in care in the community and across local communities to ensure appropriate methods are in place to keep dementia patients are safe.

Anne Hayes, head of market development for governance at BSI, hopes that communities will take advantage of the new guidance available, saying: “The aim of dementia-friendly communities is to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers wherever they live. In local communities small changes are making a real difference, but these need to be rolled out on a wider scale. Following guidance such as PAS 1365 is a key step towards improving understanding and providing help to those who need it most.”

Some of the key areas that local communities need to focus on include:

  • Establishing effective local structures
  • Identifying responsible community leaders
  • Raising awareness among key local organisations and businesses
  • Ensuring adults with dementia feel they have a voice

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, comments: “Life does not end when dementia begins. A dementia-friendly community is one in which people with dementia are empowered, and feel confident knowing they can contribute and participate in activities that are meaningful to them. This guidance will help more communities realise their ambition of becoming dementia-friendly. Awareness and local support are essential to allow those with the condition to continue to enjoy life, through activities as everyday as visiting the local shop or using the local leisure facilities.”


Sussex Grange Summer Fete raises over £1,000 for local charities

At our recent summer fete the team at Sussex Grange, and our fantastic visitors raised over £1000 for St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Chichester and Alzheimer’s Society.

Held in our gardens, we had over 200 visitors all contributing to our fantastic causes. Along some of the stalls were cake sales, book stalls, bouncy castles, alpacas, bric-a-brac and a teddy tombola. The biggest success was the raffle and the afternoon tea stall! Lots of cakes, drinks and strawberries with cream were purchased, which can all be credited to the weather – it was a glorious Saturday.

The raffle alone generated £200 of the total funds for the charities and we had some great prizes kindly donated by local businesses.

Another successful Summer Garden Fete at Sussex Grange – we are already looking forward to the same again next year – we just need to pre-order the same weather please!

Why our weekly activities bring smiles all round

Jackie, our activities manager works extremely hard to make sure our residents are kept busy every day. With many genres of activities covered including exercise classes, nail and hair sessions, baking afternoons and classic cinema mornings, plus many more.

Our residents thoroughly enjoy in taking part in activities, and we ensure all the participants are rewarded with tea and cake! The good thing about our activities is that the group of residents encourage each other to take part, and if they don’t want to take part in that particular day, they often come and watch or cheer from the comfort of their chair. The most competitive activity our residents take part in is our weekly quiz. The questions cover everything from trivia about the 1940’s / 1950’s right up to current affairs. It definitely is tense in our residents lounge, but the winner is always gracious and shares the sweets!

For more information about our activities, speak to Jackie or Tom at Sussex Grange.

20150428_120334alzheimers-coffee-morning10  Spring at Sussex Grange Care Home


Doll therapy for dementia trialled at Sussex Grange

The use of therapies for dementia, as yet have not found to cure the effects, but can certainly help the person live a relatively normal life, and carry on doing the things they like to do. One resident at Sussex Grange has dementia, and the carers were struggling to engage with her. One of the team at Sussex Grange suggested the use of dolls in order to give the resident a sense of purpose to her day and to hopefully rekindle some nice memories of her own children. The results have been amazing to watch the difference in behaviour since having the responsibility of looking after the dolls. The babies are looked after by not just this one resident but many others if they fancy it. This type of therapy is relatively new and there are few trials about the benefit to dementia patients. The main purpose of the dolls is to remove distress and offer comfort to the resident if she needs it. You can read a great article about doll therapy here.

For more information about resident care, please contact Tom.

Why our domiciliary care is so valuable to the local community

Many people, once they reach a certain age, have no interest in selling their homes and moving to a residential care home or an alternative option. Many people, however love the idea of a care home, and relish in being looked after by the carers. The choice, once you reach a certain age, has to be yours, and many people may think they know what is best, but there are options for both sides. Care homes nowadays offer a great place to socialise, be included in great activities, offer lovely food and round the clock care.

The personal home care however, offers regular visits from care staff, food can be made or delivered, you have all your comforts around you, and you retain some independence at the same time. In the community around Chichester, there are an increasing number of elderly (over 70), and with increasing needs whether that be collecting a repeat prescription, or assistance in getting to the bath or getting dressed. The domiciliary carers create a great rapport with the people they are looking after, and as they are in their own home, they feel safe and protected with all their possessions around them – even down to their favourite armchair!

To find out more about the domiciliary care offered from Sussex Grange, please contact Tom directly.