We have had a busy summer and autumn here at the Greater Manchester site and would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has provided so much help and support. This includes all those who have offered advice on where to go and with whom to speak in order that we could find people to take part in the work; those who have provided feedback on our research design and methods for collecting data; and the many people who have given their organisational support. Most importantly, we have been delighted by the number of people living with dementia who have volunteered to take part in the research and have told us their stories with such warmth and honesty.
We set out in May 2015 hoping to find 40 people to take part and were fortunate to have 51 people volunteer. Thanks to them we are now able to understand the experiences of living with dementia for a whole range of people, from the UK, and overseas, ranging in age from their late fifties to late eighties. We have spoken to people diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Vascular Dementia and Pick’s disease.
Our data consists of many fascinating interviews, walks, photographs, diaries and films. Twenty-two carers have produced social network maps with us, we have been on 20 neighbourhood walks with people with dementia, completed 19 home tours, and 2 people have completed movement-diaries for us. Of course, we still have much analysis to undertake, but we are confident that we are already learning important things about the nature of informal support as well as the ways in which neighbour-hoods and communities are able to support (and in some cases not support) people living with dementia.
Over the winter months we will be undertaking more detailed analysis and begin to inform people about what we are finding out before preparing to re-visit those we have already spoken to during spring 2016.
We now hope to recruit a small number of carers whose partner is living in a residential or nursing care home, and if possible, one or two more people living with dementia who are living alone. If you know of anyone who might be interested in talking to us about taking part in the research do please pass on our details.