Friday 12 December 2014, 20:04 | By

In the news December 2014 – Palliative care, creative therapies and new health technology

CSL In The News

As we draw closer to the end of a particularly interesting year for CSL, we once again reflect on some recent posts that serve to encourage us that there is a much-needed revolution brewing in the realm of long term care, with the potential to improve quality of life for people living with chronic conditions. Here are a few interesting articles relating to palliative care, creative arts and digital health that we’ve tweeted about in the last few weeks; we hope you find them of interest too.

dec news review pic post

INNOVATE UK LAUNCHES LONG TERM CARE REVOLUTION

With care for the burgeoning ageing population becoming more of a hot topic in the media, we were pleased to report on Innovate UK’s launch of the Long Term Care Revolution last month, as CSL’s founder Ian Spero writes in his Huffington Post blog.

Formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board, Innovate UK is offering £5 million to entrepreneurial SMEs to develop new creative tools to improve quality of life for older people.

Jackie Marshall-Balloch, Lead Specialist at Innovate UK says: “By converting high growth potential into reality, our innovative SMEs have the chance to improve quality of life and create a better, more sustainable future for those of us who will develop physical and/or cognitive conditions. The magnitude and ambition of our challenge is not to be underestimated. This is a unique opportunity to harness Britain’s innovative capability and show the rest of the world what we stand for.”

Ian Spero is working with Innovate UK and the European Commission as an independent advisor and he is keen to hear from stakeholders interested in getting involved with the initiative covered in the aforementioned blog. Please feel free to write to info@creativeskillsforlife.com

At CSL we are championing the role of innovative creative therapies in the future of healthcare, and are always keen to report on successful case studies such as The Greens at Greenwich in Connecticut, US, an assisted living facility, where they have developed a programme designed to help older people communicate and recover lost memories.

According to The Greens’ Executive Director Maria Scaros-Mercado: “Using music, art, drama and dance/movement as part of a therapeutic activity program is essential. Older adults, especially those with memory impairment, may not be able to express feelings of isolation and sadness in words, which can lead to depression and despair.” You can read more here.

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DOCTORS TO PRESCRIBE MHEALTH APPS

Back to the UK. Under a new strategy from the NHS, approved health apps will be included in an NHS app store, with some being prescribed to people by doctors too, according to the Telegraph.

The kite-marked smartphone apps will range from assisting people aiming to improve their fitness and control their weight, to monitoring blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes.

While the mHealth market is a fast-growing and potentially lucrative one, there has been little regulation by the national health organisations, so far. This gap has proved problematic for users, as previously reported, so we welcome this new strategy by the NHS and will be monitoring its impact on the digital health world.

And while we are on the subject of apps, iMedicalApps reported on a new tool for carers of the elderly to track activities including sleep, meals, diets as well as specific information such as medication administration and full medical records. “The goal of this app is to help make sure that we can improve the care for our loved ones by ensuring everyone on the care team has the same information at the same time,” says Dr. Devin Jopp, Founder of the Elder Care App (ECA). We welcome positive steps forward in this arena and seeing such innovations coming onto the market, especially given our involvement with the aforementioned Long Term Care Revolution.

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NEW WEBSITE PROVIDES ADVICE FOR FAMILIES CARING FOR CHILDREN WITH LIFE-LIMITING CONDITIONS

The Children and Young People Palliative Care website was recently launched by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC), providing a place for family and carers of children with life threatening conditions to find information and access to local services, as reported on by eHopsice.com.

The website also includes stories from families who’ve used palliative care for their children to point out the benefits of such an approach for long term, as well as for end-of-life care.

Martin and Siobhan Murphy from Newry know just how much palliative care has meant to their family as their 12-year-old daughter Caoimhe was born with a very rare disease called Joubert’s Syndrome. Martin and Siobhan’s preconception that palliative care is for the dying has been replaced by a different attitude – one of hope – and they exemplify how such care can help families in similar situations.

Caring for young people and adults living with life threatening conditions is something we’re very passionate about here at CSL. In the New Year we will be explaining more about our upcoming projects in this area, so do please keep an eye out for our upcoming news. In the meantime, we wish you and your families a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

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