G8 summit announces £4 million research project about improving life with dementia

How can people with dementia be supported to live well?  What affects their ability to do this and when should support be offered to help people live well with this challenging disease?

A new project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and National Institute for Health Research hopes to answer these questions. 

Researchers at Bangor University have been awarded £4 million to lead the ‘Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active life: Living well with dementia’ (IDEAL) project. The study will be carried out in collaboration with Cardiff University, Brunel University, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Sussex University, the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE), the Alzheimer’s Society and Innovations in Dementia CIC.

Professor Linda Clare, who will lead the work at Bangor’s School of Psychology, said:

"‘IDEAL will be the first large-scale study of its kind, and we expect it to have a major impact on the lives and experiences of people with dementia and family carers in the UK and internationally. In addition, the study will help to develop the skills of researchers in the dementia field and stimulate new developments. We believe the results will provide a unique resource and focus for social science research on dementia."

The IDEAL project is a five-year study of 1,500 people with dementia and their family carers throughout the UK.  Researchers will investigate how social and psychological factors affect the way in which people adapt to the effects of dementia and the challenges it presents, and how this changes over time as dementia progresses. The aim is to better identify at what stage individuals, communities, health and social care practitioners, care providers and policy-makers can intervene to improve the likelihood of living well with dementia.

The funding was announced at the G8 Dementia Summit in London today, 11 December 2013.  With the level of funding into research into dementia criticised by charities as being too low, the investment in these critical projects demonstrates a growing commitment to improving understanding and care.

Please click here to view the ESRC press release 'Tackling the Challenges of Dementia'.

Publication date: 11 December 2013