Tagged / dementia

Value of conference attendance?

October is the month of the annual Alzheimer Europe (www.alzheimer-europe.org) meeting. This year three BUDI team members attended the rather nice setting in Vienna a draw for everyone, although we all had very different agendas and expectations. Alzheimer Europe is one of my personal favourite conferences as I’ve been going for years and it creates the opportunity to meet with new and catch up with a range of international colleagues, and is actually the main reason I go to these kind of events; yes it is good to present the work, and as a team we had two posters and three oral presentations this year, which is not bad for an Institute only in existence for 6 months, but it is the networking aspect that provides inspiration and creates new ideas and new collaborations that motivates me to go to these kind of events.

Patricia McParland is BUDI’s project manager, she has presented at a few dementia conferences in the last 3 years but for this conference her main concern was to ensure her cutting edge work doctoral work, that she is in the final throes of writing up, on public awareness of dementia is getting out there as this is an area of increasing policy concern both in the UK and internationally and many are starting to work in this particular area. As well as presenting a poster on her doctoral work that received positive attention, she presented a paper reporting on one of BUDI’s project about Dementia Friendly Tourism. The concept of Dementia Friendly Tourism has caught the imagination of many we speak to about our dementia work and this proved to be the case again in Vienna. Colleagues from France, Spain and Jersey were particularly interested in this project and keen to explore how these ideas could be applied to their regions; we will see what transpires over the coming months in the way of collaboration but this is a nice example of the added value of going to a conference.

Clare Cutler is a research assistant in BUDI and has just started her PhD exploring experiences of war and dementia, as an Early Career Researcher Clare was thrilled to be attending her first interational conference, and her excitement was contagious! but she was also rather anxious about giving her first presentation on one of BUDI’s projects, GRIID, Gateway to Rural International Innovations in Dementia, on behalf of an international team. She needn’t have worried as she went down a storm; mainly because she said at the beginning that she was nervous, this was her first presentation and then let out a big sigh as she finished. This created a huge amount of goodwill to her personally as well as her giving a presentation on an innovative interational partnership project. We had received the support of Alzheimer Disease International (www.alz.co.uk) to conduct part of this study and the opportunity for further discussion about working together to target rural areas and developing countries is another of the added value benefits that being in Vienna brought for me this year.

I presented a paper on a recently completed evaluation of a telehealth project to diagnose and follow up people with dementia living on the Shetland Isles and Grampian, rural areas of Scotland. The added value of this work relates to the INTERDEM (www.interdem.org) meeting that was held the day before the conference. (This is another example of added value by the way, going to other meetings around a conference.) Interdem is an application/invite only pan European network of highly active psychosocial researchers in the dementia field; as a member I was also able to take my BUDI colleagues in their student roles, a new doctoral and just about to complete doctoral student, to this full day meeting and they found this an amazing experience as many of the ‘names’ of long established dementia academics are part of this group which is always a buzz to meet people you’ve quoted for the first time, who offered real warmth, enthusiasm and support for their work. The Interdem meeting this time round was a mix of presentations (including one from the task force on technology and dementia that I co-lead)  and working groups developing bid ideas, collaborative papers and general brain storming about how to take forward new work in the field. The technology task force has been working on a bid around exergaming and dementia and we used the lunchtime slot to meet to work up our ideas further  (more added value) as well as updating Interdem members about our progress with this bid during the meeting itself. But we also discussed new bid ideas and telehealth, the focus of my Alzheimer Europe paper, was one of the favoured topics; one of our jobs now is to see the details of a long-awaited funding call  (JPND) due out December 2012 and get writing another EU bid.  We also agreed to write a collaborative paper on technology and dementia, but a successful meeting is one that generates new work from my point of view!

My other bit of dissemination work was a poster about ongoing research evaluating dementia care in Maltese hopsital wards. The added value about this relates to the conference venue being in Malta next year and I am sure this has partly influenced the invitation, of the Maltese Dementia Society member who is a long standing collaborator of mine as well as being the local organisor for the 2013 meeting, for me to give a plenary there next year!

So in all, the value of going to conferences for new researchers, is undoubtedly to present their work, to meet esteemed colleagues and the resultant ‘buzz’ this brings, to learn about other research in the field and to start their own networks (a good example of this is Patricia joining a writing team for a methods related paper, more added value!). For me it is a chance to catch up with people and to discuss potential new collaborations. In previous years it has also been about keeping a profile of the work of my team, this year it was about starting to create a profile for a new BU team to an international audience. I am pleased to report that all boxes were ticked this time round!

ESRC/NIHR Dementia Initiative

Dementia initiative

The Prime Minister has announced plans to tackle what he is calling a ‘national crisis’ posed by dementia, including a doubling of research funding into dementia to £66 million per annum by 2015. As part of the funding being made available, the ESRC and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) will be working together to support an initiative with up to £13 million funding available for social science research on dementia.

Scope

The initiative will fund large grants which will be national or international focal points for social science research in Dementia which make a significant contribution to scientific, economic and social impact. The call will address the following areas, see Research Agenda (PDF, 71Kb) for full details:

  • Prevention, including public awareness and early presentation
  • Public health of behaviour change, including the role of social interventions in slowing cognitive decline
  • Delivery of interventions in hospitals care homes and carers, including the interface between professionals, lay people and patients

Documentation

Timetable

  • Meeting for potential applicants – 3 July 2012
  • Launch/open call – w/c 9 July 2012
  • Closing date for outline call – w/c 11 September 2012
  • Announce decisions for outline call – mid December 2012
  • Closing date for full call – February 2013
  • Inviting short-listed applicants for interviews – June 2013
  • Interviews – June 2013
  • Announce final decisions – July 2013

Links

Contact

For further information please email: dementia@esrc.ac.uk

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Connecting with Canada

Week commencing 18 June saw me attending a research retreat at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, building on successful collaboration with Canadian colleagues (via 2 CIHR development grants) established around 5 years ago my colleague Professor Debra Morgan is now leading a large programme grant application to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) which would allow for comparative work to be conducted in Dorset and Canada around community based dementia services. As well as academic meetings discussing the content, focus and budgetary implications of the programme of work there was a one day ‘Stakeholder’ event where decision makers debated the merits of the four strands of the programme of proposed work. This was a fantastic example of public engagement in writing a programme grant and the opening presentation I gave about the UK dementia strategies and implementation plans were very well received. It is always good to have synergy between work going on in different places and to learn from one another. Canadian colleagues were very complimentary about the policy level work that has been established within the UK, but some of the practical initiatives occuring in rural Canada are very much at the forefront of quality dementia care provision. Here’s hoping we secure the grant award!

BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY DEMENTIA INSTITUTE (“BUDI”) UNIVERSITY WIDE INAUGARAL MEETING.

14 June saw the first BUDI University wide dementia meeting. Over 30 people attended from different BU Schools (Tourism, DEC and HSC).  Apologies were received from 10 other BU staff members  who were unable to attend the meeting but are keen to be involved in BUDI activities  relating to dementia research, education and practice development.

Professor Anthea Innes, Director of BUDI, welcomed everyone to this inaugural meeting. She shared the already extensive progress to date of BUDI, but stressed the need for working collaboratively with colleagues across the University to enable the development of interdisciplinary teams for future larger research bids and other activities.  “This is an excellent opportunity to share our resources and expertise” said one of the participants. BUDI aims to become the signpost for all work BU undertakes in relation to dementia. Professor Steve Page from the school of Tourism added that the emphasis of BUDI was on collaboration and for it to be the focal point of dementia research and not to take control of individuals’ dementia research, he sees it as an excellent opportunity to apply his area of expertise, health and leisure, to a new area.  There is huge potential for staff across the University to work within BUDI, and to showcase their projects and publications via the BUDI website. Meeting participants agreed to forward relevant information on to Clare Cutler who is working on the BUDI website with Matt Northam from the Media School.

The meeting clearly demonstrated the range of work being undertaken across the University and the huge potential for collaboration for future funding bids.  Three short term working groups were agreed to take forward initial collaborative activity across BU:

  1. Dr Simon Thompson from DEC has agreed to take the lead on organising a working group to develop a bid for a series of events for the forthcoming BU Festival of Learning call.

 

  1. To facilitate further sharing of information the idea for a conference to disseminate and share work in the dementia field with colleagues across the University was agreed and will be taken forward by Anthea Innes with the BUDI team in the 2012/13 academic year;

 

  1.  A carers forum is being planned for  early Autumn, Dr Marilyn Cash from HSC will co-ordinate this working group.

The group has agreed to meet 3 times a year as a large group to share progress and plans, with working groups meeting according to individual project demands. All BU staff who are interested in dementia and want to join the meetings or to explore the plans for any of the working groups please let Michelle O’Brien, BUDI’s administrator know so you can be added to our mailing list.

If you want more information about BUDI or any dementia related activities undertaken at the University, look at the BUDI website.

htttp://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/dementia-institute/

BUDI@ Alzheimer Research UK event

On the 25th May 2012 Southampton Solent University hosted an annual Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) public awareness event. BUDI (Bournemouth University Dementia Institute) was invited to set up a display and provide information about BUDI’s services and research. Clare Cutler from BUDI, along with scientists and clinicians from the local ARUK network demonstrated and provided information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, current treatments and the latest research. The event was attended by many members of the public, carers and students. BUDI was able to provide information about the services it can provide and insight from ongoing research. The day was very well received by the public and was said to be an ‘excellent event”.

Bournemouth University Dementia Institute

Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) was launched at a public open meeting on dementia on the 16th May. See our fledgling website for more details: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/dementia-institute
A University wide meeting open to all staff interested in working in the dementia field will be held on Thursday 14 June at the Business Centre (EB708) 10-12 followed by opprtunity to network over a light lunch. If you would plan on coming along can you let Michelle O’Brien know (mobrien@bournemouth.ac.uk) for catering purposes.
www.bournemouth.ac.uk/dementia-institute