August 02, 2012 -- Able Newsflash No.333

UK News

Advance refusal cards for patients fearing 'death pathway'

Terminally ill patients are being issued with special cards warning doctors not to place them on a controversial “death pathway” amid fears the practice is becoming routine.

The “advance refusal” notices operate like an organ donor card, enabling people approaching the end of their life to make their wishes clear to while they still have capacity.

It comes amid a growing backlash against overuse of the “Liverpool Care Pathway” which allows medical staff to withhold fluid and drugs from a patient while they are heavily sedated, actively speeding their end.

Supporters of the technique say that it is the kindest way of letting people slip away rather than die in pain.

But leading doctors have voiced fears that hospitals are hastening the deaths of elderly patients to cut costs and free up bed space amid claims it has become a “standard” alternative to euthanasia.

The number of patients put on the pathway has risen sharply in recent years, and opponents estimate that it is now said to be associated with almost a third of hospital deaths – or 130,000 people.
Source: The Telegraph

Helping residents to reminisce, chat and enjoy the music – A care home in Mansfield has installed a juke box which plays vinyl records. The juke box which was imported from the USA was purchased by donations from staff, families and the local community, (Currently however, it is possible to buy such jukeboxes on

Key findings of a National Bereavement Survey (VOICES), 2011

? ? ? Question of the Week ? ? ?

"I am in my middle years and have become disabled in that my mobility is now affected. I need to use a walking stick and at time crutches. The ones I have been provided with are plain and dull items. Do you have any ideas as to where I can get some colourful, fashionable ones please?"

Answer : Most disability aids do seem to be dull though many, such as wheelchairs, can have colourful accessories and parts.

One walking stick company which does make very colourful walking sticks can be found at You can purchase a range of colours and designs ranging from Wild Rose, Grey Marble through to Paisley, 10 patterns in total.

Colourful crutches can be purchased from a company called ‘cool crutches’ and they offer nine different colours including a leopard print design, and spots! Web site:

Interesting Information / Statistics

Compared with other EU Countries Germany has a very large population of older people. The number in 2010 was 16,901,742 over the age of 65 compared with 10,205,108 the number of people over 65 years in the UK.

Across the country, London and the South East have the highest percentages of people aged above state pension age in employment and the North East has the lowest.

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