Next stop on my tour: Manchester. Whilst the weather has managed to conform to the Manchester stereotype, finding out more about the fantastic research going on here at the School of Nursing has more than made up for it. Talking to Professor John Keady about his research with people with dementia was very inspiring. Work such as ‘Music in Mind’ where a world leading chamber orchestra worked with people with dementia is really exciting, as is research exploring how people with dementia conceptualise neighborhood, something which really appeals to my roots in geography. We also have much to learn in our group about the way in which he engages people with dementia as co-researchers in determining the scope and conduct of research. Truly an example of letting the experts lead.
I have long watched Professor Gunn Grande‘s work with interest and was particularly pleased to see her recent study with colleague Dr Christine Rowland and others exploring an issue close to our heart, namely the economic costs incurred by family carers. Their finding, that family carers of people with cancer spend 70 hours a week caring in the last 3 months of life, is very striking. Hopefully it will help draw attention to the sheer scale of the work family and friends undertake at end of life.
Last, but by no means least, I had a fascinating discussion with Professor Janelle Yorke and Dr Lorna McWilliams about their study exploring the treatment experiences of people with dementia who are diagnosed with cancer, their family carers, and their clinical team. Given the predicted rise in dementia prevalence in both the UK and NZ, their work is crucial in leading the way in supporting service development in this area.
I discussed possible collaborations in all these areas: exciting times. (Although I think Lisa will be disappointed I didn’t have the time to go and visit Coronation Street!).