It’s been a busy few months for the Stirling team, though it honestly seems like only yesterday that I started working on the project. In that time we’ve completed recruiting participants for the first phase of the project, and are so grateful to everyone who has been so generous with their time. We’ve spoken to 47 people in total from across the central belt of Scotland including 15 couples, 7 people living with dementia who are living alone, and 8 carers of people living with dementia who are in residential care. We have sadly had to say goodbye to Kirsty Alexander, who had been working with us as a research assistant, and I know so enjoyed getting to work with many of you. Kirsty leaves us to retrain as a horticulturalist, and I’m sure you’ll want to join me in wishing her all the best for the future.
Part of my role since taking up this post has also been working to bring together and make sense of all the things we have learned since starting this project. This has involved working with colleagues across the three sites to draw out key themes that will help us to analyse our findings. We were really fortunate to be able to host the teams from Sweden and Manchester in Stirling in July, which was a great opportunity to share our experiences from the different sites. While there are obviously local particularities, we were all struck by how similar our findings are. Over the coming months we will dig deeper into our data and start to pull out key findings that will help to inform our locally based interventions. We are really delighted with the response we’ve had from people we’ve approached to work in partnership with us, and are very excited about the difference this could make helping people living with dementia to stay connected to their neighbourhoods for as long as possible. Watch this space for further updates on the intervention as it develops.
Finally, I’ve had the enormous privilege of getting to meet some of our early participants as we commence our second round of interviews. So-far I’ve met with nine people who had originally met with Barbara many months ago. I have so enjoyed the opportunity to speak to you about your experiences and to get an update on how you have been since you last met with us. I’m very much looking forward to speaking to more of you over the coming months.
Richard Ward & Kainde Manji
(University of Stirling)