Can embedding a researcher in care homes help to improve care?

Research project: The Lincolnshire Care Collaboration Initiative.

Lead Investigator: Professor Mo Ray 

  • Institution: University of Lincoln
  • Grant type: Care Collaboration Grant 
  • Duration: 18 months 
  • Amount: £92,534

Why did we fund this research? 

Research in care homes can often feel like it is carried out ‘on’ staff and residents rather than ‘with’ them.

Alzheimer’s Society, in partnership with Dunhill Medical Trust, have funded three grants to test different models for researchers to work in partnership with care homes to design and carry out research collaboratively.

This novel way of working will make sure research addresses challenges that are relevant to professionals and people living with dementia.

It also ensures the solutions developed are practical and can be used on a larger scale. These projects will collaborate and share learning with the wider care home and research community. 

What does the project involve? 

The researchers will be working in partnership with Tanglewood care homes and the Lincolnshire Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) network.

A researcher will be based four days a week in Tanglewood care homes, working collaboratively with people living and working there to implement change that addresses relevant and current challenges. 

The research will explore the transition of people into, within, and out of care homes.

The research will identify - with residents, staff and relatives - what problems there are in moving into a care home and work with them to design solutions to those problems. 

Experience and research both indicate that if care home transitions are badly planned, they can be disruptive and distressing for the person with dementia and the carer. It can also mean that care home professionals lack the information they need to provide good quality care.  

How will this benefit people with dementia? 

This research will provide new evidence for how we can best support people with dementia who move into or out of a care home.

It will also help us to understand how researchers can work more collaboratively with care homes, potentially providing a model that could be be used on a larger scale by other care home providers. 

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