University Researchers Take Up Residence in Local Care Homes

The study is called CHARM - The Care Home Action Researcher-in-Residence Model - and is being funded by the Alzheimer’s Society and the Dunhill Medical Trust.

The 12-month study will see two researchers-in-residence spending time at care homes with four providers - Assured Healthcare Solutions Ltd, Hallmark Care Homes, Sanctuary Care and Care UK – working closely with staff, residents and families.

Each care home team will identify a research topic of importance to them, for example investigating mealtimes, and will be supported to design and undertake two mini-studies each. The University’s research team will evaluate the CHARM model to see if it works and how best to implement the approach in other care homes in the future.

Professor Tracey Williamson, who led the application for funding, said: “What is unique about the study is its substantial presence of researchers in the care homes and the appointment of a dedicated researcher to ensure active involvement of families and residents. We believe this approach is more likely to work and help unleash the research potential we know our care home partners have.”  

The University’s Association for Dementia Studies is one of the UK’s leading centres for education and research into person-centred care for those living with dementia and their families. Earlier this academic year, the University won a Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community for the work of the Association in developing Meeting Centres across the UK. The Association’s Director, Professor Dawn Brooker, was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

Professor Williamson said: “This latest research project is another example of the work we do to ensure those living with dementia, and their families and carers, get the best possible support.”