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Stirling to take part in neighbourhoods and dementia study

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Two ladies enjoy a cup of tea in their local community

The University of Stirling will co-ordinate one of four work packages in a new five-year research programme, led by the University of Manchester, which will explore, investigate and evaluate the role of the neighbourhood in the everyday lives of people with dementia and their families.

The ‘Neighbourhoods and Dementia’ study was one of six research projects announced by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) along with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) during the G8 dementia summit today, as part of a £20 million funding boost which will significantly add to the understanding of dementia.

Professor John Keady, lead researcher from The University of Manchester, said: “In our five-year study we want to celebrate the achievements, growth and contribution that people with dementia and their carers make to society.”

The Manchester-led project will be the first large-scale research programme to work alongside people with dementia and their families in a variety of roles from advisers to co-researchers. As part of the project, Dr Richard Ward and Professor Kirstein Rummery of the University of Stirling will be co-ordinating an international study to explore what neighbourhoods mean for people living with dementia in Stirling, Salford and Linköping in Sweden.

Dr Ward, a lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling, 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”.

ESRC Chief Executive Paul Boyle said: "Dementia is a major challenge for our society, and it is imperative to develop an understanding of the needs of those with dementia, their families and the communities they live in.

"These six funded projects will provide much-needed evidence for changes in future health and social care policy, as well as practical guidance for charities and third sector organisations working with sufferers of dementia.”

The research team involves seven universities: Manchester, Stirling, Liverpool, University College London, Salford, Lancaster and Linköping. The team at Stirling will be working closely with the Scottish Dementia Working Group, a network of people with dementia, as well as Alzheimer Scotland, Forth Valley NHS and Stirling City Council.

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