Vicki Leah

Positive Communication: Activities to reduce isolation and improve the wellbeing of...

Useful activities to help boost confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing in older people

Book review: Positive Communication Activities to Reduce Isolation and Improve the...

Nurse consultant for older people Vicki Leah reviews Positive Communication Activities to Reduce Isolation and Improve the Wellbeing of Older Adults.


Experiences of using simulation in dementia education

This article describes the development of a simulation training day for multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) working on acute adult wards with the aim of improving their confidence in supporting people with dementia who are distressed. Recommendations are made for those who may be interested in delivering simulation training in their area of practice. Registered nurses, non-registered support workers and occupational therapists experienced in dementia care took part in a one-day simulation training pilot session that included three ‘skill stations’ with three patient simulation scenarios. A session at the end of the day was used to generate qualitative feedback and develop a strategy to advance this style of teaching. Feedback highlighted the need for further development of the skill stations and scenarios. The pilot showed that simulation training works well from an MDT perspective, but the content requires careful consideration in terms of stretching participants’ abilities without causing high levels of anxiety.


What approach should I take if I think an older person is lonely?

Nurses need the knowledge and skills to identify older people who are lonely so they can choose the appropriate service or intervention.

Research focus: social isolation and its effect on mortality and ill health

Compiled by Vicki Leah, nurse consultant for older people, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London

Supporting people with dementia to eat

Supporting people with dementia to eat

The aim of this systematic review was to identify the best ways of supporting people with dementia to eat. Five electronic databases were searched, with a date range from January 2004 to July 2015. Following screening of the 233 studies identified, 22 were included in the final analysis. The study interventions focused on educational programmes, environmental or routine changes, and assistance with eating, with the strongest evidence shown in the more complex educational programmes for people with dementia. The evidence suggests that staff who support people with dementia to eat should undertake face-to-face education programmes and aim to give people enough time when helping them to eat. However, cultural change may be needed to ensure individual assessments are carried out to identify those having difficulty eating, and to ensure they are afforded enough time to eat their meals.