Researchers part of project about improving life with dementia

Sussex researchers part of project about improving life with dementia

How can people with dementia be supported to live well? What affects their ability to do this and when should support be offered to help people live well with this challenging disease?

Professor Jenny Rusted from the School of Psychology at Sussex is a co-investigator on a five-year study of 1,500 people with dementia and their family carers.

Researchers on the IDEAL project (Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active life: Living well with dementia) will investigate how social and psychological factors affect the way in which people throughout the UK adapt to the effects of dementia and the challenges it presents, and how this changes over time as dementia progresses.

Professor Rusted will collaborate on components of the quantitative work plan and, in association with Dr Henglien Lisa Chen from the School of Education and Social Work, will contribute to the capacity-building aims of the programme by managing a linked PhD studentship.

Dr Chen says: “Dementia is the growing global problem. By managing a linked PhD studentship, I am delighted to be part of this cross-universities research project, which could potentially have a wide impact on and contribution to societies and academic communities internationally.”

The overall aim of the project is to better identify at what stage individuals, communities, health and social-care practitioners, care providers and policy-makers can intervene to improve the likelihood of living well with dementia.

IDEAL will be the first large-scale study of its kind, and the researchers expect it to have a major impact on the lives and experiences of people with dementia and family carers in the UK and internationally.

In addition, the study will help to develop the skills of researchers in the dementia field and stimulate new developments. The researchers believe the results will provide a unique resource and focus for social-science research on dementia.

The study will be carried out in collaboration with colleagues at Bangor University, Cardiff University, Brunel University, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, the Research Institute for the Care of Older People, the Alzheimer’s Society and Innovations in Dementia CIC.

Professor Rusted says: “I am very pleased that we are a part of this ambitious and innovative research programme, which will have real and significant application to the lives of people with dementia and their carers.”

The 4 million project, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Institute for Health Research , was launched at the G8 Dementia Summit in London yesterday (Wednesday 11 December).

Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Friday, 13 December 2013

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