Janice Caine gave a lovely interview last night on the BBC programme ‘Get it on with Bryan Burnett‘ as part of the programme’s special for Dementia Awareness Week.
Janice spoke about her research on music therapy for people with dementia. This research focuses on the use of music to improve the quality of life for both the person with dementia and their carer. As Janice says, selecting music ‘that fits the person’ is central to the success of kind of support. Janice’s research was participatory, and so the participants in her research chose the songs that they would like to listen to. In order for the music therapy to have an impact, the music should be familiar to the person with dementia. By including carers in this research, Janice was able to support the selection of music that was important to both the carer and the participant in the project.
As Janice says, ‘the beauty of is that it sparks off all over the brain’. This means that it can provoke memories from 40 and 50 years ago. Janice talked about the importance of music for linking people to significant periods in their life – first love, marriage, their first house. At the end of the interview, she selects a song which is important to her own life: Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye‘. Well done, Janice!
We had our first knowledge exchange event on Monday, October 22nd, and by all accounts it was a great success! The event focused on two key themes: the experience of doing research as a practitioner and the eight research projects which are underway.
The first set of presentations centered on the research process. The practitioners grounded their perspectives in a variety of images, each of which gives some insight into the opportunities and challenges one faces when undertaking a new piece of research. In addition to the ripple image here, we were shown pictures of an iceberg, a nebula, a mountain climber and the Tardis from Doctor Who! Each of these suggests the depth and complexity of the research process.
We also had a discussion about the role of research in organisations. We were particularly interested in how and why research might be used when planning and delivering health and social care to older people. The key themes from this discussion were (1) improving services for older people (2) using resources better and (3) fostering change and development.
After a short break, we joined the practitioners again for a second set of presentations. This time, the focus was on their rationale for doing research. We learned about the motivation for doing a piece of research, the opportunities which being a practitioner has brought to the research process and their aspirations for creating improvement in the delivery of health and social care for older people.
A summary of the different practitioner research programmes can be downloaded here. Further detail on each of the practitioners-researchers can be found on our blog here. And more information on our knowledge exchange plans can be found here.
The PROP project continues to grow. We have now recruited practitioners from seven different organisations with an interest in care for older people. They include: Alzheimer Scotland, Barchester Healthcare, NHS Lothian, West Lothian Council, Midlothian Council, VOCAL, Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Our first research training session is next week. It’s designed to provide an overview of the research programme and some introductory discussion of designing and doing research. More than that, it should be a day of networking amongst practitioner-researchers, mentors and the project team. We’ll be working quite closely together for the next 10 months or so – this should give us a change to get to know one another.
Details of the first event are available here.
Looking forward to meeting everyone next week!