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?
A new project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and National Institute for Health Research hopes to answer these questions.
Researchers from the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the London School of Economics and Political Science are part of a team led by Bangor University that has been awarded £4 million to lead the ‘Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active life: Living well with dementia’ (IDEAL) project. The study will be carried out in collaboration with Cardiff University, Brunel University, King’s College London, Sussex University, the Research Institute for the Care of Older People, the Alzheimer’s Society and Innovations in Dementia CIC.
The IDEAL project is a five-year study of 1,500 people with dementia and their family carers throughout the UK. Researchers will investigate how social and psychological factors affect the way in which people adapt to the effects of dementia and the challenges it presents, and how this changes over time as dementia progresses. The aim 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.
The funding was announced at the G8 Dementia Summit in London on 11 December 2013. With the level of funding into research into dementia criticised by charities as being too low, the investment in these critical projects demonstrates a growing commitment to improving understanding and care.
The PSSRU team will be involved in the health economics aspects of the study. Professor Martin Knapp, Director of PSSRU and leading the LSE team commented:
“This exciting project will complement a large programme of dementia-related research now underway in PSSRU at the LSE, and provide important additions to the evidence base and the lives of the c800,000 people with dementia in the UK and their carers”.
The IDEAL project
Over a two-year period the research team will recruit 1500 people with early-stage dementia, and at least 1000 primary carers, through NHS memory services in all areas of the UK. All participants will be visited on three occasions over three years, and will be asked to respond to questions about things that influence their well-being, quality of life and satisfaction with life. Participants whose well-being improves or declines markedly over the first year of the study will be interviewed in more depth to help explain why these changes have occurred.
To take part in this project, contact Dr Sharon Nelis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Martin Knapp on 020 7955 6225 or at email@example.com or LSE’s Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.