Guest Blog written by Martin Rossor on Friday October 2, 2015
We tend to think of research as a process that takes place in laboratories, with white coats and test tubes, but research is much broader than that. It does include the very early laboratory-based work as well as experimental medicine and trials in hospitals, but it also includes research in people's home and, increasingly, in Care Homes. Research in Care Homes has long been a Cinderella subject, but it is of major importance for dementia. Up to 80% of people in Care Homes will have memory problems, and a substantial number of patients living with dementia – perhaps as many as 300,000 – will at some point live in a Care Home.
There are many studies that can be delivered in a Care Home setting. Funding is on the rise for studies on issues that occur specifically in Care Homes, which allows us to explore how we can best help their residents. By thinking of research not only as solving problems for future generations, but as support for people living with dementia here and now, it becomes possible to improve quality of life and manage co-morbidities. ENRICH provides the infrastructure necessary to achieve this, by linking up a willing community of Care Homes, residents, and researchers.