Being involved with Bradford University

There’s nothing I like more than being asked to be involved in things I enjoy. It happened again last Tuesday when Bradford University asked me to be involved with the interviews for  PhD students who are undertaking research on dementia care. I know I’m not a token gesture as they listen to my opinion and appear to value it as well.

The Alzheimer’s Society has funded 8 doctoral research centres around the country and Bradford is one of them. They are centres for excellence in dementia care and the aim is to create the research leaders of the future in dementia research.

The lovely Dr Andrea Capstick leads on their patient involvement and met me in reception before taking me upstairs for a cuppa.The train journey yet again didn’t go smoothly as the train was supposed to be direct from York to Bradford but broke down in Leeds at which point chaos ensued as we were told to ‘go wait on the platform for further instructions’. I noticed that a group of people seemed to know what they were doing and were heading off in another direction so I followed – good job done as they were heading for a different train that also happen to stop at Bradford!

I digress – back to the day…….there were 5 people on each panel including me – they were interviewing for 4 Phd students so each of the leads was present along with the supervisor and me. The amazing Murna Downs and Jan Oyedo were part of the panel and it was so nice to see them. I’ve met Murna a few times but only corresponded with Jan so really nice to meet her in person. The other people were also great – they have such a lovely team at Bradford – no wonder everyone wants to work there……
The panel met to discuss who would ask which questions and I was able to come up with my own questions in relation to the their views on the challenges faced with including people with dementia in their research and how they may adapt. The prospective students had to deliver a presentation followed by our questions. There were 4 candidates during the day and all had some really interesting things to say. I love to hear the young talking especially when they have so much energy and passion.

We were all glad when the end of the day came as interviewing can be so exhausting as you really want to make sure you’re fair to each candidate. They were interviewing again on Friday which another user involvement person so I hope they found the other 2 lucky students who will start their careers.

How I wish I was 40 years younger and about to embark on their journey! …..mmmmm, well some of their journey anyway…………

I take photos of everywhere now to help remind me of the place
I take photos of everywhere now to help remind me of the place

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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