Guest Blog written by Wendy Mitchell, Join Dementia Research Champion on Friday July 29, 2016
When people think of research they often think of clinical trials and scientists in white coats in laboratories, but social and technological research is equally important. Research into the best ways to care for people is paramount as current standards often fall short of the ideal. This is often due to, in the past, low pay and low public esteem as to the work that goes on in care homes.
However, this is where research can play a valuable part and raise the profile of the need for high-quality expert care, especially for those with dementia, who make up a large percentage within the care home setting. Research can highlight the expertise needed to care for individuals. So little has been done to ensure the care we receive when we can no longer care for ourselves is appropriate, yet research into this field is the obvious solution. If research doesn’t take place, how do care homes know that what they’re doing is of a high enough standard and the right way to care?
Some have often said that it’s impossible to engage people in the late stages of dementia in research but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many supporters have been protective of their loved ones in taking part in research, yet researchers can enhance their life and make them feel of value. There are now accepted observational methods and methods which, when used correctly, can gain the much needed insight into needs and desires of this forgotten group of people. Taking time to allow those in care home settings to be a part of research is time well spent.
Locally I’m watching with interest, the building of a care home for people with dementia, mainly because the board outside is advertising it’s ‘Internet café’ facility! I wonder how many people with dementia have been involved in the design and I wonder how much research has gone into the facilities and care needs………?
After all, I have a vested interest in the need to get it right in care homes as one day I may need to find my own……….
You can find out more about Wendy from her blog on living with dementia: www.whichmeamitoday.wordpress.com
or follow her on Twitter: @WendyPMitchell