How suitable is a home for someone with dementia? A new app developed by Stirling University will soon be able to tell you!

An app to assess how suitable a home is for someone with dementia is being developed by Stirling University.

The app, which is being designed by the university’s dementia centre, will also recommend changes that could be made to the building.
Lighting, colour, contrast and noise in the home can all affect people who are living with dementia.

The university said it would take about 20 minutes to assess a two-bedroom home using the free app.
Users will be asked questions about their surroundings and will be asked to take photographs.

The dementia database – called Iridis – will then recommend changes that could be made, which could range from changing a light bulb to reconfiguring whole bathrooms.

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It will take about 20 minutes to assess a two-bedroom home using the app!!

Stirling University said it was the first app if its kind in the world.

It will take about 20 minutes to assess a two-bedroom home using the app
Lesley Palmer, from the university’s Dementia Services Development Centre, said: “This is a unique opportunity to revolutionise how we improve day-to-day life for older people and people living with dementia around the world.

“We are creating a simple way for anyone to assess how dementia-friendly their environment is, and find out how to improve their surroundings.
“With around 50 million people estimated to be living with dementia worldwide, there is an immediate need to invest in our aging population and provide improved services and facilities.”

Dementia is one of the main causes of disability later in life, ahead of cancer. The app, which will be available to download in September 2017, is being designed in collaboration with construction experts Space Group.

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Original article available on BBC.co.uk
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Damning UN report into the Tories has been released! Every voter needs to see this.

The UN has released a damning report into the conduct of successive Conservative-led governments. It is overarching, criticising the lack of action in hundreds of areas. These include the Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Inquiry; hate crime provoked by the British media; child refugees; and child poverty. But there’s a shocking catch: the Tories are not legally obliged to act. On any of it.

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has carried out its periodic review of the UK’s commitment to international human rights law. It asked hundreds of campaign groups, charities and organisations to submit evidence [pdf p13]. And the complaints made by these bodies are damning. You can read The Canary’s full analysis of the evidence submitted to the UN here.

Overarching criticisms

Now, the UNHRC has made 227 recommendations. At the time of publication, these were only accessible via the UN extranet, for which registration is required. You can then view the report here. And there were overarching criticisms of the government, including:

  • That it must do more regarding “high level” child sexual abuse, and the CSA Inquiry must be completed.
  • That counter-terrorism legislation needs to be altered, as it currently “target[s] individuals or groups based on race, ethnic background or religion”.
  • That it must do more in respect of selling arms to “countries where they are likely to be used for human rights abuses and violations”.
  • The fact that abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland.
  • Levels of child poverty (currently four million children), which it must “eradicate”.
  • That is should “consider the revision of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 with a view to protecting the right to privacy, including by prohibiting mass surveillance activities and the collection of communications data without warrants”.
  • That not enough was being done to reduce the UK prisoner population; to improve prisoner safety; or to address increases in prison murders, self-harm and suicide.

Flouting international law?

Recommendations included that the government must put part or all of nearly a dozen pieces of international legislation into law in the UK, including the protection of/:

  • The rights of the child.
  • Migrant workers.
  • People from forced disappearance.
  • Decent work for domestic workers.
  • Children against sexual exploitation and abuse (EU legislation).
  • Women and girls against violence (EU legislation).

To most, it may be concerning that the UK is not even signed up to some of these laws in the first place.

Bad governance?

But there were also dozens of specific recommendations, which go to the heart of the Tories’ governance of the UK. These include that:

  • The government must include “civil society” (the public) more in decision-making processes; specifically the implementation of the UNHRC recommendations.
  • It needs to do more to ensure that British companies are not breaching human rights abroad.
  • A Universal Basic Income must be considered.
  • Life sentences given out to young offenders should be abolished.
  • It needs to review the Immigration Act 2016, as it may be in breach of international law surrounding children; specifically the detention of child immigrants/refugees.

Hate crime

There were also a staggering 42 recommendations about the government’s approach to hate crime. Specifics included that:

  • The government must do more to stop the British media from inciting hate crime.
  • Not enough is being done to counter ethnic profiling of people of African descent.
  • The government still needs to do more to stop the increase of all hate crime and discrimination.
  • Discrimination against same-sex couples in Northern Ireland must end, and same-sex marriage must be made law.

The Tories’ British Bill of Rights

There were 14 overarching concerns about the Tories’ proposed British Bill of Rights (BBR), which will replace the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Specifically that:

  • The BBR would maintain the same level of protection for the public as the ECHR.
  • European citizens living in the UK would be protected under the BBR.
  • The public should be consulted on the contents of the BBR.

So far, the UK government has either denied or said, in essence, that work was in progress on all these criticisms. It has until September to report back to the UN.

Another day, another UN report

But we’ve been here before. As The Canary has documented, the UN twice reported on the UK government in 2016. And it found that the Tories had committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of disabled people’s human rights; while also eroding the rights of single parents, minority communities, and the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.

The Tories’ response to both those reports? To simply shrug their shoulders and say they didn’t believe them. And because of the way the UN works, the Tories can do this; the UN has no legal power to force the government to act. So once again, it is down to campaigners, opposition politicians, and the media to try and force the hand of the Conservatives. Sadly, only one of these three groups of people is likely to do anything meaningful. And it’s not the media or politicians.

Governing for whom?

May said in her first speech as PM that she would “govern not in the interests of the privileged few”. But she and her party have never showed any interest in doing so. They stand up for the wealthy while allowing the rest of us to rot. So voters would do well to remember her words on the steps of Downing Street, think about them in the context of this UN report, and then vote accordingly on 8 June.



I’ll be voting for Labour in Nottingham but I have swapped my vote for someone in Manchester who has promised to vote Green, so my vote still counts. Swap your vote here: http://www.swapmyvote.uk/


Article taken from The Canary – 11/05/17

Egyptian short film ‘Marche Arrière’ released showing life in Cairo

Marche Arrière, meaning to reverse is a short feature film created by Maseera.

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“Marche Arrière” short feature film from Sara Elias on Vimeo.

“We seek to create unforgettable moments that remind others of our common humanity–to inspire, encourage, comfort, expose, challenge –and to bear witness in our works to the reality, the beauty, the excitement and the mystery of life journeys. We aspire to produce films that are a form of art–not merely to entertain, but to provoke emotion and reflection, incite action, and have long-lasting effects on those who experience them.”

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Maseera is a media and training studio Based in Egypt, which has an intense enthusiasm and devotion to tell stories and walks of significance on film.

Only the Greens will fight against Fracking in Nottinghamshire!

Nottinghamshire County Councillors have already approved exploratory drilling for shale gas, which could lead to fracking wells in the Nottinghamshire countryside. And they may approve a second application for a site near Retford at a hearing on Tuesday 21st March.

greenFor information about where to get involved in anti-fracking events visit Frack Free Nottinghamshire on Facebook.

With these decisions, not only does the county council ride roughshod over the UK’s climate change obligations, but this irrational dash for fossil fuels with ever more extreme methods endangers and disrupts our local communities and wildlife.

We won’t bow to the fracking lobby’s dangerous agenda.

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Only Green Party county council election candidates pledge to oppose any planning applications to begin extreme fossil fuel extraction processes such as fracking and shale gas, coal-bed methane, and underground coal gasification.

“Fracking is a nightmare! Toxic and radioactive water contamination. Severe air pollution. Tens of thousands of wells, pipelines and compressor stations devastating our countryside and blighting communities. All while accelerating climate change. And to produce expensive gas that will soon run out.”

Information about Fracking in the UK and the negative effects on the environment.

The Green Party’s 2015 report on Fracking: A future of fracking? Why government support for shale gas extraction does not make climate sense

You can donate to the Nottingham Green Party through PayPal and many other ways on their website.

Drone on…

Its almost been a year since I first got my Bebop Drone.

Check out my videos of Nottingham from the air:

I will be uploading more videos as this year goes on, hopefully from all over the UK.

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Why the US and Britain are not democracies…

Surely the United States and Britain are democracies. After all, they have free and fair elections and representative governments; freedom of speech and association means that dissent and demonstrations are tolerated; all citizens are deemed equal before the law; and individual civil liberties are respected.

In fact these countries are electoral oligarchies. Political power is closely allied with wealth and immigrants are regularly scapegoated for the inequalities fostered by state policies.

A cursory examination of the word democracy demonstrates that we no longer live, if we ever did, in democracies. True democrats must reject the exclusions and the inequalities which have become the acceptable face of liberal democracy.

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Read more here @TheConversation

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