Dementia and Neighbourhoods: a new research programme

At the G8 Summit on dementia yesterday the UK Government announced a £20 million programme of research on dementia jointly managed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). In all, 6 projects have been funded as part of this programme.

One of the largest projects is being led by the University of Manchester with the collaboration of the University of Stirling. This 5-year, £5 million project is comprised of four work packages, all related to the theme of dementia-friendly neighbourhoods. One of the work-packages will be led by Dr Richard Ward and Professor Kirstein Rummery in the School of Applied Social Science, University of Stirling.

The work package is an international investigation into how people with dementia and carers experience their local neighbourhood. There will be two parts to the work: An initial research stage will work closely with people with dementia in Stirling, Salford and Linkoping (Sweden) to explore what their neighbourhood means to them and how neighbourhoods can support people to remain active and independent. In the second stage we will work closely with a range of care providers including NHS Forth Valley, Stirling City Council and Alzheimer Scotland to develop a neighbourhood model for support to people living with dementia. Throughout this 5-year project the research team will be working closely with people with dementia and carers, including members of the Scottish Dementia Working Group.

Dr Richard Ward, a lecturer in Dementia Studies said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with local residents, businesses and organisations to help create a more dementia-friendly Stirling. Our research will add to a much-needed evidence base for dementia-friendly communities by helping us to understand how people living with dementia experience their local neighbourhoods”.