Page Menu

The British Society of Gerontology Autumn Symposium – Care Homes Research SIG

Site Menu


The British Society of Gerontology Autumn Symposium – Care Homes Research SIG

The British Society of Gerontology invites you to join them for their second symposium of 2020, which will focus on: Promoting independence and wellbeing among those living with dementia in long-term care/care homes

The symposium will be held online, and will include two presentations and a Q&A session. Details of the symposium, including registration details, abstracts, and speaker bios, are below. Please feel free to distribute this information across your own networks. The symposium will take place on 24 November 12:30pm-2:00pm (UK Time) is free, and all are welcome to attend.

Tuesday 10th November 2020

The British Society of Gerontology Autumn Symposium Care Homes Research Special Interest group 

Symposium Overview:

“The prevalence of dementia is predicted to increase as our population ages. As the dementia progresses, many older adults with dementia will require advanced care – typically offered from within a residential care setting. Given this is the case for millions of people worldwide, it is important to explore ways in which these settings can support residents’ independence and wellbeing for as long as possible. In this symposium, supporting independence and wellbeing will be explored from two distinct, but related, perspectives.


24 November 12:30pm-2:00pm (UK Time)


Meeting link:

Presentation 1:

Material Citizenship: Functional objects for meaningful lives (Dr Kellyn Lee).

Materiality has become an increasingly important topic in sociological studies of healthcare.  How objects support the identity of people with a dementia in care homes is an emerging area.  Whilst previous research had tended to focus on sentimental or cherished items (such as photographs and keepsakes) often considered for their comforting and ‘homely’ affordances, less attention has been given to functional objects (such as a pair of curling tongs or a vacuum cleaner) as a mechanism to maintain identity and encourage activity.

It is widely believed that older people moving into a care home are encouraged to bring items in from home however, only certain items are encouraged and these often carry caveats. Once in a care home people may often find themselves having to adjust their day-to-day activities to fit the task-orientated routine of care home life.  The lack of personal possessions and access to functional objects can amplify barriers for residents to reach their optimal performance, reduce agency and increase dependency on care home staff.

This session introduces Material Citizenship as a conceptual framework which aims to encourage care home staff to consider the importance of functional objects in care practices.


Presentation 2:

The role of exercise in preventing falls and fractures for long-term care residents with dementia (Dr Caitlin McArthur).

Current evidence for the effectiveness and role of exercise in fall and fracture prevention is mixed. Recent systematic reviews have identified that exercise as a single intervention does not prevent falls in long-term care, but exercise as part of a multifactorial intervention (e.g., medication review, environmental assessment) does. The evidence for exercise as a fracture prevention strategy in long-term care is limited. Most studies to date do not include residents with significant cognitive impairment making the generalizability of the evidence limited to residents with good cognition. Further, few studies have examined the ethical decisions around encouraging independent mobility which may increase the risk for falls and fractures.

This session will provide an in-depth discussion of exercise as a fall and fracture prevention strategy in long-term care, including the evidence about its effectiveness and common barriers to implementing strategies. Content will focus on recent research findings about fall and fracture prevalence, risk factors, prevention, injury minimization, and how dementia contributes to risk.

Speaker Bios:

Dr Kellyn Lee (

Kellyn is a Chartered Psychologist and Research Fellow in Ageing and Dementia, and Co-Director of the Alzheimer’s Society funded Doctoral Training Centre for Dementia Care – University of Southampton, UK.

Kellyn is responsible for the development and management of the Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) toolkit website and has experience of working on many ageing and dementia research projects. She currently leads on an impact project working with a care organisation to develop Material Citizenship as an online training programme for care home staff.

Dr Caitlin McArthur (

Caitlin is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dr McArthur’s research focuses on improving the effectiveness of and access to rehabilitation for people living with chronic health conditions across the continuum of care, particularly home and long-term care. She is interested in fall and fracture prevention and improving functional mobility.


The session will be moderated by Dr Chad Witcher, Senior Lecturer, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth ( Chad is the Special Interest Group’s Care Home Sector Engagement Co-Lead. He has an interest in physical activity engagement and promotion within care home settings.

About the Special Interest Group (SIG):

Our SIG aims to strengthen research, policy, and practice in all areas of care homes research, including those related to staff, residents, family members and carers, as well as the home environment, and its links with external organisations. We also aim to develop complementary working relationships with the other SIGs, as well as other groups and organisations that support care homes research.

If you would like to be part of the Care Homes Research SIG, please contact the SIG at

Please also follow us on Twitter @BSGcarehomes