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Stimulating the brain by taking on leadership roles at work or staying on in education helps people stay mentally healthy in later life, according to new research.
Led by the University of Exeter and published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the large-scale study used data from more than 2,000 mentally fit people over the age of 65, and examined the theory that experiences in early or mid-life which challenge the brain make people more resilient to changes resulting from age or illness – they have higher 'cognitive reserve'.
The study found that people with higher levels of reserve are more likely to stay mentally...Read more
A team of PenCLAHRC researchers have been awarded Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding to develop a training toolkit that helps care home staff improve residents’ access to nature.
Research has shown that older people, including those living with dementia, can derive wellbeing benefits from sensory experiences of nature. The ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) grant aims to enhance quality of life in care homes by creating ‘My Nature: a training toolkit’ for staff in the residential/nursing care sector.
At present there are a number of barriers preventing care home residents from accessing nature. As well as many residents experiencing sensory...Read more
Video-calls using new technological devices are being used with older people in care environments across Devon and Cornwall to reduce loneliness and isolation, thanks to a PenCLAHRC-funded PhD project.
Sonam Zamir, a PhD student at PenCLAHRC, and Professor Ray Jones from Plymouth University have been working with care homes and hospitals since April 2015 to help older people get set up with Skype.
The Skype on Wheels project means older people can now stay better connected with distant relatives without getting out of bed, or needing to learn a new technology.
A Skype on Wheels device, developed by Professor Ray Jones and Plymouth...Read more
The impact of vibrations from very tall buildings, wobbly bridges and floors on people’s health and wellbeing is to be researched in a new £7.2 million government-funded national research facility at the universities of Exeter and Bath.
By recreating the vibrations using virtual-reality simulators, a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, physiologists, psychologists and medics, including PenCLAHRC’s Dr Vicki Goodwin, will explore how people can experience different symptoms of motion sickness such as tiredness, low mood, difficulty concentrating and lack of motivation if they are working in a building that sways slightly in the wind.
Despite looking rigid in appearance, tall buildings flex in...Read more
Research carried out by Plymouth University into the experience of dementia in farming and farming families, and its impact on their businesses and home lives, has identified four areas of concern.
The year-long study was undertaken by Dr Claire Kelly and Dr Richard Yarwood, with support from Ian Sherriff, who is supported by PenCLAHRC and is Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia at the University and Chair of the Prime Minister’s Rural Dementia Friendly Task and Finish Group. It is the first time that research has addressed this issue in farming.
Sixteen farmers from across Devon were interviewed, along with seven professionals from...Read more
Ian Sherriff, who is supported by PenCLAHRC, has helped develop new Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guidelines on hidden disabilities and airports.
New guidance published by the CAA will help passengers with
hidden disabilities get better support at UK airports and more
effective communication ahead of travel, to help reduce stress and
Following a wide-ranging consultation with airports and disability organisations, the CAA has set out a number of key guidelines that include providing identity badges, bracelets or lanyards and ensuring information is available in a range of formats, including clear pictograms and audio messages.
In addition, airports are...
PenCLAHRC is delighted to be offering a full time PhD fellowship for nurses or allied health care professionals wishing to join an exciting research programme on dementia care.
The successful applicant will join a thriving multi-disciplinary team delivering a coordinated and integrated research programme based on research priorities and uncertainties identified by the Alzheimer’s Society and others via the ‘James Lind Alliance’ process. The PhD fellow will have the opportunity to develop, test and evaluate one of a suite of linked interventions designed to help people with dementia continue to live independently for longer and to help them manage their transition...Read more
A set of standards and criteria for dementia education, developed by a team at PenCLAHRC, are being rolled out to all educational courses for health professionals across England.
The National Dementia Strategy, ‘Living Well With Dementia', was launched by the Government in 2009 with the aim of developing better services for people with dementia and their carers, particularly across three key areas of awareness, diagnosis and intervention, and high quality care.
One strand of this strategy aims to create an informed and effective workforce for people with dementia to ensure that all health and social care staff involved in the care of...Read more
More than half a million pounds of new cutting-edge research which aims to advance us towards a dementia cure and improve dementia care has been awarded to the University of Exeter Medical School by Alzheimer’s Society.
In the UK alone, more than 850,000 people live with dementia, and the figure is expected to rise to more than 1 million by 2021 if no action is taken. Currently, dementia costs the UK economy £26.3 billion each year, on top of the emotional burden on families and carers.
Now, a series of awards from Alzheimer’s Society to health researchers will help us to better...Read more
Older people are more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease if they are severely Vitamin D deficient, according to the most robust study of its kind ever conducted.
An international team, led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, funded in part by the Alzheimer's Association and supported by NIHR CLAHRC South West Peninsula (also known as PenCLAHRC), studied elderly Americans who took part in the Cardiovascular Health Study. They discovered that adults who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 per cent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind,...Read more