I had another thought following on from the workshop in London which I spoke about yesterday……..
During the discussions, the researchers still seemed to be in the realms of the ‘elderly’ when they spoke of dementia and the types of trials they were undertaking.
Whilst the elderly are undoubtedly a signficant group, I highlighted the fact that, an ageing workforce, combined with younger people being diagnosed, would pose different challenges for the future and it would make sense to start asking those questions now. It will be a whole new generation of people with different needs and requiring different types of research. For example, more studies are needed on ‘working well’ with dementia and the needs, not only of those working with dementia, but also a need to support those who are trying to juggle work and look after someone with dementia. You may or may not remember but I’m due to meet with NHS Employers with regards to two Toolkits they are working towards – one to support employees with dementia and the other for carers. The meeting is now taking place at the beginning of February so watch this space………..
I’m currently part of the research being carried out by Dr Louise Ritchie from the University of the West Of Scotland into dementia in the workplace and they’re in the process of asking for more funding for this to develop further. I hope they’re successful. There are lots of good engagement projects coming out of Scotland.
I also think my generation will have different expectations of care homes in the future and this could also make for a very interesting study in preparation for future needs. The fact that the National Institute for Health Research is planning to consult with those affected by dementia can only be good and may bring about more ideas and thoughts on future needs.
We’re heading in the right direction but so much more needs to be done, but this can’t be achieved without more talented individuals being attracted into dementia research and people with dementia openly being offered the chance to take part in research.