LIVING WITH DEMENTIA
Research to improve understanding of the experience of living with dementia and all aspects of dementia care and caring
Prof Debbie Tolson
In 2013 Debbie was appointed as the Alzheimer Scotland Professor of Dementia and inaugural Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at the University of the West of Scotland. She is a registered nurse with an international reputation as a nurse leader and educator. Her professional standing is reflected in her Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing, Honorary Fellowship of the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland and Principal Fellow Status with the UK Higher Education Academy.
Debbie has been research active since completing her doctorate in 1995 at Glasgow Caledonian University. As a founding member of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium she has championed a focus on early career researchers, and is particularly proud to have supervised, led or been involved in practice based research studies that are developing caring interventions and challenging approaches to advanced dementia care in Scotland, Europe and beyond.
#livedexperience #qualitative #citizenship #humanrights
Katie Gambier-Ross is a final year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Her current research is funded by the Alzheimer's Society UK and focuses on the everyday lives of people with dementia and the decision-making they (and others) go through when 'going out' and during the potential or actual experiences of being missing. Through discussion groups and walking interviews with people with dementia, she explores how these experiences affect people's sense of identity, purpose, control over their own lives, independence and safety. The findings will be relevant for a range of stakeholders and specifically intend to inform prevention and response strategies deeply informed by the voice of people affected by dementia. More widely, it aims to support people with dementia to live independently in a safe and supportive environment.
In addition to her PhD, Katie tutors on undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering research methods and theoretical underpinnings of health and social science research. She has worked as a research assistant on a range of projects and is heavily involved in research and science communication communities. In 2019, she was a postgraduate representative for Scottish Institute for Policing Research, has been on the organising committee for several conferences and co-founded the International Consortium for Dementia and Wayfinding.
Dr Lucy Stirland
Lucy is a psychiatrist undertaking specialist training in the care of older people. She is also a researcher, having completed a PhD in epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh in 2020.
Lucy's research focuses on people who have many co-existing illnesses, particularly those with a mental illness or dementia. She studies the relationships between these conditions using data both from research studies and from the NHS. In her clinical work, Lucy assesses and treats older people with dementia and mental illnesses in the community and in hospital.
Linda is a lecturer in applied life sciences at the University of the Highlands and Islands,
Linda is studying a PhD in Nursing at the University of Dundee investigating person-centred care for older people with dementia. She is currently looking at the formal care of people with dementia living at home to understand how far current practices align with person-centred care principles.
Dr Norman Alm
Norman is an Honorary Research Fellow in Computing at Dundee University. His most recent research areas are computer-based communication support for people with dementia and their carers and computer-based games usable by people with dementia.
Norman was part of a multidisciplinary group that developed CIRCA, a system for supported reminiscence conversations for people with dementia. The same group also developed the Living in the Moment (LIM) games, which were playable without the need for working memory. CIRCA and LIM were taken to the market through a spin-out company.
The BBC RemArc (Reminiscence Archive) system was inspired by CIRCA.
Currently Norman is advising on a project to explore the use of ambient everyday sounds to stimulate reminiscence conversations in people with dementia.
Dr Martin Quirke
Martin is a chartered architect and researcher who specialises in design for age-related health, physical and cognitive impairment.
Based within the University of Stirling's internationally renowned Dementia Services Development Centre, Martin is part of the multi-disciplinary design team that provides research informed professional design consultancy and design review services. He is an approved building assessor for the University of Stirling Dementia Design Accreditation scheme (aka the 'Stirling Gold Award')
Martin is environment lead for 'Our Connected Neighbourhoods', a pilot dementia friendly neighbourhoods research project funded by Life Changes Trust. The project focusses on supporting local people living with dementia to undertake assessments and share their experiences of local places in the Stirling North and Forth Valley areas.
Martin is a founding co-developer, along with DSDC Chief Architect Lesley Palmer, of the IRIDIS project, a revolutionary suite of publicly available digital technologies, to support research evidence based design that improves the independence and wellbeing of people with dementia, sight loss, and other age related impairments.
Martin's doctoral research project, carried out through the University of Newcastle, Australia, rated the suitability of building layouts in Australian and international care settings for supporting the independence and wellbeing of people living with dementia.
Professor John Swinton
John is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen.
For more than a decade John worked as a registered mental health nurse. He also worked for a number of years as a hospital and community mental health chaplain. In 2004, he founded the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability.
John’s particular area of research is in spirituality and dementia. He has published widely in this area including his award winning book Dementia: Living in the memories of God.
Suzanne is an Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant for NHS Tayside. Her professional interests include younger people with dementia, frontotemporal dementia, the mental and physical well-being of older adults, professional issues and evidence-based practice.
Having had over 30 years’ experience as a mental health nurse, latterly supporting younger people with dementia, Suzanne achieved an MSc in Dementia Studies from Stirling University and decided to undertake further study at doctoral level regarding one of the most challenging clinical issues she had encountered whilst supporting younger people with dementia. Suzanne is a Clinical Doctorate student in the Faulty of Health Sciences and Sport at the University of Stirling. Her study aims to investigate the experiences of living with a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) from the perspective of the person and to identify factors which help and hinder the person living well with FTD, in order to inform clinical practice. The data consists of 13 semi-structured interviews of 7 people with a diagnosis of FTD. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach was adopted.
Suzanne hopes her clinical doctorate study will add to the evidence around the lived experience of frontotemporal dementia, raise awareness of the condition, and inform current and future support offered by clinicians and family carers.
Dr Karen Watchman
Karen is a Senior Lecturer in Ageing, Frailty and Dementia at the University of Stirling. With a focus on post-diagnostic support, intellectual disability and equality issues, she seeks diverse views of participants less often included in research.
Karen's research focuses on people with a learning (intellectual) disability who have dementia. She is currently looking at relationships between couples with a learning disability when one partner has a diagnosis of dementia. Karen delivers training on learning disability and dementia and has developed a range of training resources on this topic to support practice development.
Dr Tharin Phenwan
Tharin is a medical doctor from Thailand. He is an assistant professor at Walailak University School of Medicine and has been actively involved in teaching undergraduate medical students and postgraduate doctors.
He is currently a third year PhD student at the University of Dundee. His thesis focuses on understanding the future planning process amongst people with dementia. He conducted online interviews with people with dementia and family carers to explore their Advance Care Planning process. The findings are relevant to people living with dementia and their family carers to understand when, how and with whom to discuss their future plans.
#medicaleducation #qualitativeresearch #palliativecare #qualityoflife
Kate has been studying with the University of Stirling since 2007 starting with a BSc in Professional Practice, MSc Advanced Practice. She is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Applied Social Research (dementia studies). Kate works in clinical healthcare settings with people with dementia and in the community with people who have stroke disease. She is interested in the relationship between early years stress and dementia and the sociology of health.
At present, Kate is particularly interested in assessment and intervention pathways for people with stroke and cognitive impairment as her thesis will have a particular focus on therapeutic interventions. Risk factors for dementia and stroke overlap supporting the concept of a shared susceptibility. Major international organisations dealing with stroke and dementia are calling for joint prevention through the same international and national policies.
Prof Louise Phillips
Louise holds a Chair in Psychology at the University of Aberdeen. Her research explores the effects of aging and dementia on cognition, emotions and social functioning.
She is interested in linking together changes in the brain, psychological functions (such as cognition and emotion) and the ability to communicate with others in people who have dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions. These cognitive, emotional and social issues in dementia also impact on communication with loved ones and professionals. Also, Louise is interested in the cognitive patterns involved diagnosing dementia, and the role of social and cognitive interventions in preventing or slowing the course of dementia.
Research to discover or improve methods to allow neurodegenerative diseases to be detected earlier and more accurately.
The foundation for the development of
effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases
Focussing on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases and their progression to develop symptoms as observed in dementia