BRE and Loughborough University to create dementia-friendly demonstration home

Construction of a new ‘dementia-friendly’ home aimed at learning how better to support those living with the condition will begin on the BRE Innovation Park this Autumn.

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The 100sqm Victorian house will be adapted to cater for different types, and stages, of the debilitating illness, and is aimed at allowing sufferers to live independently by addressing their day-to-day needs.

The tailored features of the converted terraced house have been designed by researchers from Loughborough University and building science centre BRE.

Once complete, it will act as a show home and give developers, care providers and families an opportunity to learn about better ways to equip a home to help people with dementia.

As part of Loughborough’s ongoing research in this area, academics will also study how the features are used with a view to further improving ways to support homeowners with dementia.

The converted building’s features will include:

  • Clear lines of sight and colour-coded paths through the home that help guide people towards each specific room
  • Increased natural lighting – proven to help people stay alert during the day and to sleep better at night
  • Noise reduction features – to lower the chances of stress.
  • Simple switches and heating controls, and safety sensors in high risks areas such as the kitchen

The project draws expertise from a number of specialisms at Loughborough, from the schools of building and engineering, design, and sport – and is based on a wealth of dementia research carried out at the University.

Professor Jacqui Glass, of Loughborough’s School of Civil and Building Engineering, is the University’s principal investigator on the £300,000 project. She said ‘Most people experiencing dementia wish to remain at home, so the design and construction of new dwellings or home conversions are paramount. With this project we want to show how design solutions can be to be easily integrated within most current homes and communities to improve people’s lives’.

The demonstration house is based on the ‘design for dementia principals’ previously developed by Dr Rob McDonald and Bill Halsall at Liverpool John Moores University.

Director of BRE Innovation Parks Dr David Kelly said: ‘Our aim here is to show how homes can be adapted to better meet the needs of dementia sufferers and delay the need for care by the state for months or even years. Currently, the average cost of state care is between £30,000 to £40,000 per annum. Creating environments which allow people to live independently at home for longer could save a significant amount. That money could instead be channelled into research that alleviates the condition and reduces the emotional stress to the individual.’

Dementia care costs families around £18 billion a year and affects about 850,000 people in the UK. The figure is expected to rise to more than one million in the UK by 2025. Two-thirds of the cost of dementia is paid by those who suffer from the condition and their families. This is in contrast to other conditions, such as heart disease and cancer, where the NHS provides care that is free at the point of use.
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The true value of sustainable foods

A growing body of evidence shows the disparity between the price we pay for food and the costs of production and consumption. Market prices do not reflect the environmental, social and health impacts of food products, and this will be demonstrated at the Sustainable Foods Summit.

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A recent true accounting study by EY (formerly Ernst & Young) showed that organic apples have lower impacts than conventional apples to the value of EUR 0.20 per kg. In terms of specific health impacts, the financial advantage of organic apples is EUR 0.14 per kg. There were similar findings for other organic fruits, including pineapples, tomatoes, pears, bananas and citrus.

Environmental costs of food production include pesticide use, waster and resource use, as well as their associated impacts on soil, pollution, and biodiversity. Organic foods have lower environmental costs because of their sustainable production methods. Farmer and producer payments, worker rights, land ownerships, and health considerations are some of the social costs associated with foods. Fairtrade certified products, such as coffee and tea, have lower social costs since some of these externalities are removed.

Various studies show sustainable foods have lower impacts – or external costs – than conventional foods. Research by the social enterprise True Price found that sustainable cocoa beans grown in the Ivory Coast have 15 percent lower external costs than conventional beans. Another study showed that sustainable coffee in Vietnam has 20 percent lower external costs than conventional coffee.

A growing number of companies are looking at the hidden environmental and social costs of their products. The trading firm EOSTA has used the true cost accounting approach to determine the external costs of its organic fruit and vegetables. These calculations are being used to demonstrate the environmental and health benefits of organic products. Similarly, Soil & More has undertaken similar studies to determine the true cost of organic agricultural systems.

A similar exercise by the Dutch ethical chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely revealed its sustainable cocoa has a 40 percent lower social and environmental footprint than conventional cocoa. It is sourcing organic and fairtrade cocoa beans directly from farmer co-operatives in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, giving them a premium of at least 25 percent.

By determining external costs, companies can take steps to remove negative impacts in their supply chains. For instance, Tony’s Chocolonely has made a commitment to source cocoa with zero social and environmental costs by 2019.

A major challenge however is consumer communications. Sustainable foods, especially organic products, are considered elitist by some consumer groups. Over-stating the negative health and social impacts of conventional products could further alienate such consumer groups. Ecovia Intelligence believes positive messaging maybe the way forward, something that does not always sit well with true costs and impact studies.

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Pedal for Parkinson’s needs your help!

Calling all qualified Body/Sports Massage FHT members. Parkinson’s UK is looking for Volunteer Massage Therapists to support their series of cycling events across the country this summer – can you help?

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There will be approximately 250 cyclists taking part to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. But it takes more than pedalling to keep the wheels turning!

What’s involved?

  • Providing post-race leg massage to cyclists to aid their recovery from the ride. Ideally approximately 20 minutes per cyclist.
  • Congratulating cyclists on their achievement and speaking to them about the ride, including any injuries they may have sustained.

What skills do you need?

  • Qualified massage therapist
  • Must be able to provide copy of qualifications
  • Provide current copy of public liability insurance (preferred but not essential)

Where and when is it?

  • Date: Sunday 4 June 2017
  • Venue: Stratford Racecourse, Stratford upon Avon
  • Schedule:  The event starts at 9am, with 3 distances; 19, 40 and 57 miles. Shifts will last for 5 hours – commencing at 10.30am and ending at 3.30-4pm.

They are committed to ensuring that no volunteer should find themselves out of pocket because of expenses incurred when carrying out activities on their behalf. As a volunteer, you can claim out of pocket expenses in line with Parkinson’s UK’s Volunteer Expenses Policy. They will also provide a sandwich lunch.

For more information and to take part please contact : Holly Hearn at hhearn@fht.org.uk

Protecting your child’s skin in the sun

With summer fast approaching, make sure you’re ready to protect your child’s skin against harmful UV rays. British Skin Foundation spokesperson and Consultant Dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto shares essential sun safety advice.

A photo by Ben White. unsplash.com/photos/4K2lIP0zc_k

Young skin & UV

Young skin is particularly vulnerable to the effects of ultraviolet radiation.  Babies below the age of 6 months have little melanin, or pigment, in their skin and their skin is also too sensitive for the use of sunscreens. It is therefore important that young babies are not left in direct sunlight.  After six months of age, sunscreen is safe to apply,” explains Dr Mahto.

What to look for in a sunscreen

Dr Mahto advises, “Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against UVA and UVB light with a minimum of SPF 30. Remember to apply about 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours after swimming or excessive sweating.”

It’s important to use sunscreen in conjunction with other sun-protection measures. 

  • Seek shade between 11am-3pm when the sun is at its hottest and take walks before 10am and after 4pm
  • Dress your child in lightweight protective clothing covering the arms and legs
  • Protect their head, neck and ears with a wide brimmed hat
  • Protecting the delicate eye area with UV protection sunglasses
  • For babies, a pram with a canopy or cover will also add extra protection

What to do if your child suffers sunburn?

Dr Anjali Mahto explains, “If a child below 12 months of age has sunburn, you should seek medical attention immediately as there is a risk of becoming severely unwell.”

For children over 12 months, Dr Mahto recommends the following:

Act quickly and get out of the sun
Cover up the affected areas and keep your children in the shade until the sunburn has healed. Wear loose cotton clothing that allows the skin to “breathe” over the sunburnt areas.

Take over the counter pain relief regularly until the skin starts to settle.

Cool the skin
Apply a cool compress to the skin e.g. a towel dampened with cool water for 15 minutes, or give your child a cool bath or shower. Aim to keep the temperature just below luke-warm.  Make sure the shower has a gentle flow of water rather than being on full power.  If blisters are starting to develop, then a bath is preferable. Do not rub their skin with a towel, but gently pat it dry.

Moisturise
After a bath or shower, use an unperfumed cream or lotion to soothe the skin. Repeated applications of this are necessary to reduce the appearance of peeling and this may need to be continued for several weeks. Aloe vera or soy containing gels or lotions can be beneficial in soothing the skin. Aloe vera not only has a cooling effect on the skin but also acts as an anti-inflammatory. Be wary of using creams or lotions that contain petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine. These can either trap heat in the skin or cause local skin irritation.

Stay hydrated
Sunburn can encourage fluid loss through the skin.  Give your child plenty of water to prevent dehydration and help their body recover.

Leave blisters alone
Try to encourage your child not to pop blisters as this can lead to infection and scarring.  They will settle by themselves after a few days.

 

Remember sunburn can cause long-term damage to the skin and prevention should be key. For especially bad cases of sunburn always seek urgent medical advice.

 

For more information on skin cancer and top sun safety tips, please visit:

www.ittakesseven.org.uk/skin-cancer-facts

For more information on identifying signs of skin cancer in clients click here

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health awareness week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 is taking place from 8 – 14 May and aims to highlight why good mental health is only being experienced by a minority of the UK’s population.

In a March 2017 study on Mental Health entitled Surviving or Thriving, the Mental Health Foundation found only 13% of respondents reported living with high levels of good mental health. Their study aimed to shed light on the lack of good mental health in society and reduce the stigma of the widespread problem that affects nearly two-thirds of people in the UK over their lifetime.

Other key statistics included:

  • More than 4/10 say they have experienced depression
  • 10% of children and young people have a mental health problem
  • People aged 55 and over experience better mental health than average
  • More than 1 in 4 reported having experienced panic attacks

You can read the Mental Health Foundations report here

Four simple steps to stop being hard on ourselves

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Mindful has recently drawn attention to the RAIN meditation, a mindfulness technique to address feelings of insecurity and unworthiness and encourage self-compassion. The acronym was originally created around 20 years ago by Michele McDonald and follows four steps of practising mindfulness, as outlined below:

  • Recognise what’s going on
  • Allow the experience to be there, just as it is
  • Investigate with kindness
  • Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying with the experience

The recognising step focuses on acknowledging the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are affecting us, such as the ‘critical inner voice’, ‘constricting beliefs’ and feelings of shame and fear that are holding us back. Mindful states that this step is like ‘awakening from a dream or coming out of a trance.’

Allowing the experience to be there is to accept the emotions, feelings and sensations and avoid withdrawing from the present moment because of the unpleasantness. By allowing these feelings we are not agreeing they are just but are able to look deeper at them to reevaluate them and understand them.

Investigating with kindness is to draw attention to the current experience, to ask questions like: what is happening? What wants more attention? What am I believing? This is to be more mindful and to stop unconscious beliefs and emotions controlling your experience that make you feel unworthy.

Natural awareness is about non-identification, not linking the present moment with emotions, sensations or stories from the past that can often have a negative impact on how we cope with current situations. This is about resting and letting our ‘natural awareness’ take control.

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FHT members support the 2017 London Marathon

Following the great success of the 2017 London Marathon, FHT therapists offered their services to help tired runners on behalf of two leading charities, the MND Association and the Stroke Association.

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The 2017 London Marathon, which took place on 23 April, saw a record number of competitors take to the streets of London to raise money for a variety of charities. 

Participants were greeted at the finish line by FHT therapists offering free treatments to participants, to make sure the runners left the post-race reception venue in the best possible condition, after clocking up a massive 26.2 miles.

FHT members volunteered their time and skills on behalf of both the MND Association and the Stroke Association.Their generous donation helping to ease runners aches and pains in a professional and skillful manner, while upholding the standards of the FHT.

With over 160 runners raising money for the charity, it was the biggest year yet for the MND Association.

‘We were impressed by the hard work, care and professionalism of both the FHT therapists, Will McAllister and Neil Ferebee. They really did help to make a difference to each of our runners’ experience, for which we are so grateful. Roll on London Marathon 2018 – we would love to work with your therapists again.’

Also working at the event were FHT members Peggy, Martina, Aria and Wendy; representing the FHT and providing support for the Stroke Association. 

“We are hugely grateful to the FHT therapists who gave up their time and provided their expertise on Sunday to help us look after our team of 240 incredible and inspiring #TeamStroke Marathon runners. So far the runners have raised over £300k. They were so very grateful for the post-run treatments and we offer sincere thanks to the FHT for once again supporting the Stroke Association.”

The FHT are proud to represent therapists who are committed to the industry and who are willing to volunteer their own time to give back to the community.