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GUEST BLOG

Welcome to the ENRICH guest blog

Read the real-life experiences of people involved in care home research.

Anyone with a story or advice they'd like to share is encouraged to make contact using the contact us page.

Read about current news and developments for care homes research in the new posts section.

Sarah is the Director of the Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team (SMART) at the University of Bedfordshire.  Her research interests are the use of alcohol, addictive medicines and illegal drugs among older people.  She is passionate about involving the public in research.  Sarah has two close relatives with dementia and is a regular visitor to care homes.

12th October
2020

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Keeping the spirits up? A study about promoting good practice in relation to alcohol use in care homes for older people

Sarah is the Director of the Substance Misuse and Ageing Research Team (SMART) at the University of Bedfordshire. Her research interests are the use of alcohol, addictive medicines and illegal drugs among older people. She is passionate about involving the public in research. Sarah has two close relatives with dementia and is a regular visitor to care homes.

In this guest blog Dr Sarah Wadd sets out her plan for a new care home study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research, which will explore issues around alcohol use in care homes.

Rachel Daly, Professional and Practice Development Facilitator, Dementia UK. Queens Nurse and District Nurse by background with over 20 years’ experience working in and with care homes as a nurse and a family care partner. Tweets as @dementiaventure

29th September
2020

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How people living with dementia in care homes make and share everyday decisions

Rachel Daly, Professional and Practice Development Facilitator, Dementia UK. Queens Nurse and District Nurse by background with over 20 years’ experience working in and with care homes as a nurse and a family care partner. Tweets as @dementiaventure

In this guest blog Dr Rachel Daly presents six key factors that enable decision-making in care homes for people living with dementia.  She discusses the importance of involving people in everyday decisions and recognising a person’s desire and ability to be involved in the decision-making process (regardless of what the decision is).

Liz Jones is the Policy Director and the National Care Forum, she has a strong background in social policy, care and support and health and housing.    Julienne is Professor Emeritus of Nursing: Care for Older People at City, University of London. Her expertise in aged care has long been recognised internationally.   She is best known for her work in care homes and was one of the co-founders of My Home Life (MHL) in 2006.

21st September
2020

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The National Care Forum – Learning the lessons from COVID-19 to enrich research relationships with care home homes

Liz Jones is the Policy Director and the National Care Forum, she has a strong background in social policy, care and support and health and housing. Julienne is Professor Emeritus of Nursing: Care for Older People at City, University of London. Her expertise in aged care has long been recognised internationally. She is best known for her work in care homes and was one of the co-founders of My Home Life (MHL) in 2006.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the need for more social care research, especially within care homes. This research clearly needs to be shaped by the priorities of residents, relatives and care providers.

Sue Fortescue

24th August
2020

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A Plea for Plain English

Sue Fortescue

Sue Fortescue was an Information Technology manager in Brussels for over 20 years before retiring to the UK. Her father had vascular dementia, and her mother had Huntington’s Disease and the dementia associated with it. Both have now passed away. In retirement Sue joined the Alzheimer’s Society Research Network and now plays an active role in reviewing research proposals and monitoring research projects.

Melanie Lovatt is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Stirling. Her research interests include ageing, time and relationships. She is currently leading the ESRC-funded project Reimagining the Future in Older Age.

13th July
2020

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How objects can build relationships in care homes

Melanie Lovatt is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Stirling. Her research interests include ageing, time and relationships. She is currently leading the ESRC-funded project Reimagining the Future in Older Age.

Melanie Lovatt provides an insight into the importance of material things through her exploration of how interactions with objects can shape the everyday lives of those living in care homes.

Dr Gizdem Akdur, Research Fellow, The Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC), University of Hertfordshire

6th July
2020

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What do we want? Useful data. Where do we want it? Care homes – A case for a care home minimum data set.

Dr Gizdem Akdur, Research Fellow, The Centre for Research in Public Health and Community Care (CRIPACC), University of Hertfordshire

Integrated Care Systems (ICS) in England and the recognition of the role of social care as an essential part of care provision for older people underline the need to develop reciprocal systems of working between the NHS and care homes. There is, however, no agreed framework in England for collating, sharing and interpreting data collected by the organisations involved in supporting care homes.

Fawn Harrad is a final year PhD student in the Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester.  Fawn also works part-time as an ENRICH Care Home Research Facilitator at CRN West Midlands.

29th June
2020

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Redeployment During COVID19 – Fawn’s Story

Fawn Harrad is a final year PhD student in the Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester. Fawn also works part-time as an ENRICH Care Home Research Facilitator at CRN West Midlands.

Fawn’s PhD study explores hospital transfers from care homes. She has recently been redeployed to work in a care home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was keen to share her experience.

Dr Gemma Wilson is a Health Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow in Applied Health,  Mrs Jessica Gates is a PhD researcher and research assistant both based at Northumbria University.

29th June
2020

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Technology as a tool for social connection during COVID-19: Translating findings to care homes

Dr Gemma Wilson is a Health Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow in Applied Health, Mrs Jessica Gates is a PhD researcher and research assistant both based at Northumbria University.

A recent study, funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust, explored older adults’ experiences of using technology (including social media) to connect with others.

The findings highlighted the importance of technology and social media for social relationships, specifically visual communication tools. Although this study was carried out before the onset of COVID-19, and with older adults living independently, there are some translatable outcomes for the adoption of technology for social connection in care homes.

Dr Ryan Buchanan, Academic Clinical Lecturer, Primary Care, Population Science and Medical Education, University of Southampton

22nd June
2020

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New study funded by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Wessex: Good-NIGHT COVID-19 to care-home-based vulnerable individuals

Dr Ryan Buchanan, Academic Clinical Lecturer, Primary Care, Population Science and Medical Education, University of Southampton


18th May
2020

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Keeping in touch with your care home collaborators through Covid-19

Nisha joined Aston University in September 2016, having spent the previous four years as a Clinical Audiologist, and developing research skills within a medical college.

I have a strong passion for the understanding and enhancement of patient outcomes, from service provision to long term clinical management. This is reflected in my research interests to design interventions that will have direct benefit to patients with concurrent health conditions such as hearing loss and cognitive decline.

I am currently undertaking a part-time PhD to investigate the impact of hearing loss and dementia on social isolation in older adults. In addition, I maintain my clinical status by seeing patients part-time for adult aural rehabilitation and tinnitus management.

In this blog I share my thoughts on how Covid-19 has impacted my research project and the importance of keeping in touch with my care home collaborators at this time.