Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beyond PPI: People living with dementia in the driving seat

The Small Places

Some days expand your heart, mind and horizons; yesterday was that kind of day. And I want to share what I found out with you, so that your heart, mind and horizons can also grow larger.

I was privileged to be invited to a roundtable meeting by the Dementia Pioneers. This is a group of people living with dementia, who are researchers. They played a central role in a project that ran for the last five years and is just coming to an end, the Dementia Enquirers. The project developed a new approach to research that was led and controlled by people with dementia themselves.

Beyond ‘PPI’ and co-production

If you work in research, particularly health or care research, you have probably heard of ‘PPI’ – public and patient involvement. PPI is increasingly a core requirement of health research funding bodies, and what it entails can vary enormously –…

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We’re drowning in old books. But getting rid of them is heartbreaking.

“What to do with old books is a quandary that collectors, no matter what age, eventually face — or leave to their heirs who, truly, do not want the bulk of them. Old volumes are a problem for older Americans downsizing or facing mortality, with their reading life coming to a close.”

the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® blog

‘They’re more like friends than objects,’ one passionate bookseller says. What are we to do with our flooded shelves?

By Karen Heller, The Washington Post, December 19, 2022

(Eliana Rodgers for The Washington Post)

On a recent weekday afternoon, Bruce Albright arrives in the Wonder Book parking lot,pops the trunk of his Camry and unloads two boxes of well-worn books. “It’s sad. Some of these I’ve read numerous times,” he says.

Albright, 70, has been at this for six months, shedding 750 books at his local library and at this Frederick, Md., store. The rub: More than 1,700 volumes remain shelved in the retired government lawyer’s nearby home, his collection lovingly amassed over a half-century.

But Albright is on a mission. “I cleaned out my parents’ home,” he says. “I don’t want to do to my kids what my parents did to me.”

He’s far from alone. Books…

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Restoring a House for Every Body

“Marc looked at everything through the eyes of the disabled body, and he believed if he solved the issues for a disabled person, he would have solved the issues for everyone”

the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® blog

Half a century ago, Marc Harrison built a prototype for a home that would accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Now his daughter has restored it.

Tony Luong for The New York Times

By Penelope Green, January 29, 2023, The New York Times

In the early 1970s, when the house was built, it must have seemed like something from another planet. With its rounded, porthole-style windows and doors and its bubble skylights, it would have looked less like a home than a spaceship that had landed in the woods of northwestern Rhode Island, in a small town called Foster.

And in some ways, the structure was equally futuristic. A collaboration between Marc Harrison, an industrial designer, and his students at the Rhode Island School of Design, it was a showcase for what is now known as universal design — a place where people of all ages and abilities could be…

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Look out Google, here comes chatbot

“Ultimately, the future of chatbots will depend on the ways in which they are developed and utilized by businesses and individuals.”

Eye View

Warning: not all of this article was written by a human

Google was a game-changer when it first came out. I started using the browser in 1998.

image: Call Centre Helper

I was hooked on Google from the start. Unlike other browsers, Google had an uncluttered screen with a simple search window. And it delivered results.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has revolutionized the tech industry with so many reliable products like Translate, Maps, Earth, Street View, and Docs. Alphabet made what came before it look like lumbering dinosaurs.

Now Google is threatened by a creature of its own making.

Three weeks ago, an experimental chatbot called ChatGPT made its case to be the industry’s next big disrupter. Using technology created by Google, ChatGPT can serve up information in clear, simple sentences, rather than just a list of internet links. It can explain concepts in ways people can easily understand.


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The Questions We Don’t Ask Our Families but Should

the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® blog

The Atlantic, November 15, 2022 by Elizabeth Keating

Many people don’t know very much about their older relatives. But if we don’t ask, we risk never knowing our own history.

photograph of a family at the beach
Smith Collection / Gado / Getty; The Atlantic

You might think you already know your family’s stories pretty well—between childhood memories and reunions and holiday gatherings, you may have spent hours with your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles soaking up family lore. But do you really know as much as you think?

As a professor of anthropology, I have always been fascinated by the stories that families tell, and a few years ago, I started researching the tales that are passed down from generation to generation. Part of my motivation was personal. When my mother died in 2014, I realized how much I didn’t know about her life. I never asked the questions that haunt me now—questions about what…

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Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia

“There is interest in offering physical activity to people affected by dementia as a leisure choice. Over the last few weeks, for example, we have worked with learners from close by in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, but it has also been a great pleasure to welcome colleagues from London, Ireland, Scotland, the USA, the Czech Republic and Germany, providing support or care in settings including hospital wards and care homes, and the wider community. We were also delighted to welcome a colleague facilitating walks in the highlands of Scotland, and another offering Irish Dancing adapted for people affected by dementia.”

Association for Dementia Studies Blog

This week we hand over to Dr Chris Russell who reflects on our online course ‘Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia’. Over to you Chris…

People affected by dementia (individuals living with dementia and also members of their family and close friends) want to continue doing things they have always enjoyed. Why would this not be the case? I know, because of research that we have completed here at the Association for Dementia Studies. This has explored activities that people can participate in perhaps for interest, for a sense of fun, or purpose, encapsulated by the term ‘leisure’. Such things contribute to making us who we are; they are part of everyday life.

Leisure includes activities as diverse as painting and listening to heavy metal music, with everything in between (and extending out on both sides!). It forms part of the jigsaw of everyday life. What one…

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Japan’s Elderly Population Totals Record 36.27 Million

Among 200 countries and regions in the world with population of 100,000 or more, Japan had the highest share of the elderly population. Italy came second with 24.1 pct, followed by Finland with 23.3 pct.

Barrier Free Japan

From Jiji

September 18 2022

TOKYO – The estimated number of people aged 65 or older in Japan stood at a record high of 36.27 million as of Thursday, rising by 60,000 from a year before and accounting for 29.1 pct of the nation’s total population, also the highest ever, the internal affairs ministry said Sunday.

The estimate, based on the 2020 census data and other information, was released ahead of Respect for the Aged Day on Monday, a national holiday.

Elderly men totaled 15.74 million, making up 26.0 pct of the total male population, while the number of elderly women came to 20.53 million, accounting for 32.0 pct of the overall female population.

The share of the elderly population has been increasing every year since 1950. The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research expects the share to reach 35.3 pct of the total population in 2040, when…

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Embracing the monsters: moving from infection control to microbial management

“Adapting, surviving, and thriving in this time of monsters will require more than rehashing old preparedness politics and hopes for a reassertion of human control over microbial threats. During what some social scientists call the era of hygienic modernity, societies increasingly relied on a mix of surveillance and biomedical interventions to remove or contain microbial threats. This old focus on containment is no longer feasible in a world where stressed ecosystems leak into each other and international tensions and rising inequality prevent the meaningful strengthening of global health systems.”

Read this challenging post in full at…

The Lancet Microbe Source: Embracing the monsters: moving from infection control to microbial management – The Lancet Microbe

My father’s Cecil Hotel experience haunted him for life

“There’s no way for me to know if my father had an encounter with an evil presence that haunts the Cecil Hotel or not, but I do know that whatever my father experienced, it felt very real to him”

The Memories Project

I’ve previously shared on this blog my father’s terrifying experience at the Cecil Hotel back in the 1960s. Over the years, documentary filmmakers have reached out to me, interested in learning more. Last year, I was interviewed for a documentary that premieres Feb. 10 on Netflix. It is called, “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.”

The documentary focuses on the mysterious death of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, who was found dead in a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel in 2013. While authorities ruled the death an accidental drowning, there are many questions surrounding her death, amplified by the notorious reputation of the hotel. The four-part series covers many of the high-profile crimes that have taken place at the Cecil.

For those interested in the possible supernatural influence at the Cecil, I’m sharing my father’s terrifying experience. My father lived at the Cecil in 1965. He was a…

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