People with dementia tell funders to boost research into care
Published 27 June 2013
Research into improving dementia care today is just as important as the search for a cure tomorrow according to a groundbreaking survey.
The survey looked at 1,500 people affected by dementia and their carers. Results of a project conducted by Alzheimer's Society and the James Lind Alliance announced on Wednesday 27 June 2013 set out the top research priorities for the people directly affected by its results.
The findings come at a time of deep pessimism, with pharmaceutical companies publically suggesting they will withdraw from dementia research because of failed clinical trials. Alzheimer's Society hopes that the call to action will act as a roadmap for funders in the sector – already, £2 million of research grants have been allocated in Northern Ireland based on the scheme's list of priorities.
The process saw those surveyed provide over 4,000 questions that they would like answered by research into dementia. This was whittled down to a top 10 list. Areas which the group are calling to prioritise include:
- The best ways to keep the person with dementia as independent as they can be.
- How the results from research findings can be effectively disseminated and implemented into care practice
- The impact of receiving an early diagnosis of dementia
- The best ways to manage behavioural symptoms such as aggression.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer's Society said:
'If research is fundamentally about answering the most important questions facing us, how do we make sure that the questions we ask are the right ones? By going directly to people with dementia, carers and professionals this groundbreaking partnership has circumvented received wisdom and set out a clear list of priorities for research.
In addition to the search for a cure, people with dementia and carers are crying out for research which helps them live well today. We need this to be a blueprint for funders across the sector. One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia, so this may be the greatest health and social care challenge Britain faces.'
The annual Alzheimer's Society research conference takes place on 27 June 2013. Follow #AlzResearch on Twitter for news and updates from the event.
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