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First South West Join Dementia Research match for dementia research study

Posted on 9th March, 2015

The first Devon couple to be matched with a dementia research study by the new Join Dementia Research service have shared their experience as a patient and a carer. David and Jan Barwick were invited to take part in the study by Clinical Studies Officer Jonathan Richards from our Trust's Research & Development team. Mr and Mrs Barwick registered their interest in participating in research with Join Dementia Research through The Alzheimer’s Society website. They have already contributed to a national research initiative called The IDEAL Study which aims to recruit up to 1,500 people who have experienced changes in their memory, other thought abilities and how they manage their daily activities. It is the first large-scale research study of its kind and the findings will be used to influence policy and practice to ensure better wellbeing for older people experiencing these changes in the future. David, who is in his seventies, has dementia which currently affects his memory and ability to carry out a sequence of activity or thought. His wife Jan, who had a science and journalistic background in her working life before she retired, said she recognises the importance of research to better understand the disease and improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with the condition and living with people who have dementia. Jan said: “The clinical studies officer came out to our home on three occasions and David and I each answered different questions and shared our experience of dementia from our perspectives as a patient and a carer. I was more than happy to help with this type of research because it didn’t involve needles! It was straightforward and not an imposition and we will get a follow up visit a year on.” Jonathan Richards endorsed the Join Dementia Research service as a very useful resource to identify participants for the research studies he is conducting: “Join Dementia Research not only gives you the opportunity to directly contact individuals you know are receptive to research but also provides useful information to ascertain if these participants are indeed eligible to take part. This information can significantly increase the speed of recruitment to studies and the awareness for individuals of the wide range of dementia research trials within their locality.” Join Dementia Research is a new nationwide online and telephone service that helps people in the South West of England to take part in national dementia research studies. This Department of Health funded service is a collaboration between the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland. The website offers a secure and easy way for someone to register their interest, discover studies that interest them, and ultimately connect with researchers to take part in their studies. Anyone aged 18 years or over can sign up themselves, or on behalf of someone else, either by registering online or by contacting the helplines of Alzheimer’s Research UK (0300 111 5 111) and Alzheimer’s Society (0300 222 1122). Our Trust is currently supporting various dementia studies as well as other types of mental health research. Contact the team if you or someone you know would like to get involved - 01392 674117 or