Cumbria Crack

Doing it for Dementia During Dementia Awareness Week

Sarah’s mum, Jane Wall, success with the cash machine
Sarah’s mum, Jane Wall, success with the cash machine

[P]eople living in Cumbria, whether they do or don’t have dementia, are invited to get involved in a new international study into how normal, daily life is affected by technology. The study launches on 16 May 2017 during Dementia Awareness Week and offers people aged 55+ a unique chance to get involved in dementia research until December.

The studies are planned to give people the chance to tell their stories about how they use technology in their day-to-day lives, both at home and out-and-about. Successes, niggles and frustrations – this is research about ordinary life.

By finding out more directly from the whole community, more can be understood about how to make places more dementia friendly. Recent studies published by Anna Brorsson and colleagues are showing that this is possible. For example, the stories of people living with dementia are helping revolutionise grocery shops in Sweden and making the experience easier for everyone.

The study is offered by occupational therapy researcher, Sarah Wallcook from Arlecdon and her colleagues at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet and University College London, supported by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Now back in West Cumbria, Sarah said;

“Technology keeps appearing in our lives and it’s often making life easier. But that’s not the same for everyone and we don’t know a lot about what happens for a person when this isn’t the case. This research is about everyday technologies – the day-to-day items that in general we all use; ovens, microwaves, smart phones, computers and outside home technologies, like ticket machines, cash machines and so on. We want to know how people manage to use these technologies. Does it help or hinder them from living life the way they want to? People living with dementia have told us that this is important to them and that they are pleased we are looking into this. For local people who don’t have dementia, helping out by getting involved in research is a great way to unite and show support during Dementia Awareness Week.”

People with and without dementia aged 55+ from anywhere in Cumbria are potentially eligible to take part in the studies. The interviews use tools that have been tried and tested by previous participants to dive deeper into the topic. They are planned to take place in the participants’ own home over a maximum of 3 occasions, but can be at another location if preferred.

To register an interest in taking part, contact Sarah directly on 07860 103 150, [email protected] or register for Join Dementia Research, 0300 111 5 111) who will then be able to pass on contact details.

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