On 1st February 2017 the South Coast Network of Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) held the ‘Living with Dementia 2017’ Conference. This one day public meeting was designed to provide the public with an opportunity to hear about the latest in dementia research. Topics discussed during the day included: end of life care, dementia friendly cities, research into new treatments and how we might improve diagnosis. The event brought together researchers from across the South Coast including the Universities of Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton and Sussex with interested members of the public.
Prof Jan Wiener, Dr Ben Hicks, Dr Michelle Heward and Iram Bibi represented the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) at the conference hosting a scientific cafe in the afternoon session. The scientific cafes were interactive sessions that members of the public were invited to join academics round-the-table for informal discussions about their current research projects. The ADRC projects discussed focused on the psychological and social aspects of living with dementia and included an evaluation of an acute care setting, the development of serious games and tai chi for people with dementia, dementia-friendly environments, and the use of graffiti to give people living with dementia the opportunity to express themselves.
The conference attracted over 100 members of the public many of whom were either caring for someone with dementia themselves, or working in the dementia field. This was a fantastic opportunity for ADRC to disseminate the findings of their research to the public and network with other researchers from the ARUK South Coast Network.