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Test of famous faces 'helps to spot early dementia'

Asking patients to identify pictures of famous people, such as Elvis Presley and Diana, Princess of Wales, may help spot early dementia, say researchers.  Doctors currently use simple mental agility tests to screen for the disease, but US experts believe a face recognition test should be used too.

A small study in the journal Neurology found it could flag up the beginnings of one type of dementia in 30 patients.  Trials are needed to see if it works for other forms of the disease.

Read more on the BBC News website.

Young people busting the myths surrounding dementia

Despite the growing number of dementia friendly programmes, many continue to be aimed at adults only. To develop and sustain dementia friendly communities, involvement from the younger generations is vital.  Enter Dementia Detectives!

Dementia Detectives is an hour long workshop for teenagers delivered in school or college.  The aims of the workshop are simple: Bust the myths surrounding dementia and learn how to support people living with dementia in the community.  The sessions have been developed in consultation with teenagers.

Life stories in dementia care: we all have a story...

...and cannot be understood without it.

Life story work typically involves helping people to make a record of some aspects of their life, most often in a book or template, although more creative approaches do exist, including the use of IT and stop frame animation. Increasingly, life story work is being promoted as an important tool for enhancing person-centred dementia care. However, when it comes to specifics, there is little agreement.

Drop in dementia rates suggests disease can be prevented

The proportion of older people suffering from dementia has fallen by a fifth over the past two decades with the most likely explanation being because men are smoking less and living healthier lives, according to new scientific research.

A team from three British universities concluded that as a result the number of new cases of dementia is lower than had been predicted in the 1990s, estimated at around 210,000 a year in the UK as opposed to 250,000.

The importance of getting outside

We take it for granted that we can go outside when we want to, enjoying fresh air, sunlight, plants and trees – and it generally makes us feel much better, relieving stresses of everyday living. Yet people in hospital, people in care homes and especially those with dementia are all too often not able to do this. It seems that the benefits of being able to go outside need to be robustly justified for anyone to take them seriously and provide suitable outdoor space.