Opening a new reference pathway to Alzheimer’s disease Company for former players with dementia will be “critical”, according to the Rugby Players Association.
The Company announced on Friday that partnerships have been established with RPA, Welsh RPA, the Professional Cricketers’ Association and the League Managers’ Association in football, providing these organizations with a permanent means of referring any past and present player or manager who has been diagnosed with dementia or who is caring for a loved one.
The intention is to make the process of obtaining dedicated dementia support as easy and quick as possible for current and former professionals.
Members will benefit from personalized advice and practical and emotional support from the Society’s front-line experts, to help them live well with the disease and better prepare for the future.
RPA Director of Player Welfare Richard Bryan said news of early dementia diagnoses for a number of former professionals, including 2003 World Cup-winning England hooker Steve Thompson, had raised concerns among their peers and that significant changes had since been made to the RPA offering.
“We are looking at four different areas – education, support for former players, protection of current players and then research,” he told the PA news agency.
“As part of that planning, we were looking to see what was out there, what organizations we needed to partner with, because I think what became clear at that time, 18 months ago, was actually that this was not easy to find specific information for former athletes on the subject of dementia and the consequences of traumatic brain injury.
“So it was about trying to find specific pathways for former and current players. We were aware of the Sport United Against Dementia campaign and the LMA’s existing relationship with the Alzheimer’s Society and so we were introduced The key for us was, where can we direct our members to get information, support, on a topic that obviously concerns them?
“Support for our former players is absolutely fundamental and having this path with the Alzheimer Society is essential and we look forward to this relationship developing.
“These paths are developing and it is a question of obtaining this specific information, this expertise and this personalized knowledge of the health and social protection system, for former and current actors.”
The Alzheimer Society referral service has already been communicated to RPA members, and will continue to be, and sits alongside access to the Advanced BRAIN Health Clinic at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH) in central London. This service, funded by the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugbyopened to elite male and female retirees aged 30 to 55 last November.
Bryan said there have already been 47 referrals to the clinic so far and there is potential for cross-referrals from the clinic to the Alzheimer Society in the future.
It has also been an important week for brain health protection in elite rugby, with World Rugby introducing new concussion protocols.
Players will face an increased minimum waiting period of 12 days, with the vast majority of players diagnosed with a concussion now set to miss their next game.
Bryan described the new protocols as a “huge step forward” and added, “Our RPA Player Council, which includes our elected representatives, has actually influenced these changes.
“We felt a review was needed and this was a chance for our player reps to have their say. To see these changes reflect the thoughts of our player reps is a significant change and something we would be happy.
“One thing that our player reps were very strong on was that players who had suffered a Grade 1 concussion – what World Rugby would call an obvious concussion on the pitch – that those players shouldn’t be able to come back within a week. .”
Bryan said the RPA Player Council is also pushing for the Contact Training and Controlled Contact Training guidelines to become mandatory limits, and welcomed the introduction of in-game mouth guards. English elite next season.
“It has the potential to be a game-changer in terms of data and better understanding of the strengths, the contact that players are making in both a practice and match environment,” added Bryan.
“Our goals are to reduce exposure to head impacts of all kinds.”
Alzheimer’s Society link key to helping ex-rugby players with dementia – RPA
Source link Alzheimer’s Society link key to helping ex-rugby players with dementia – RPA