Understanding how more effective communication and better care can lead to better quality of life for older people.
A series of projects focusing on practice issues in the care of older people - including those with learning disabilities, dementia, or both.
Because of the unique nature of the relationship between JRF and the care services provided by the JRHT, we are able to put into practice many of the initiatives and good practice guidelines indicated in our research. Conversely, the concerns and issues communicated by our own practitioners and residents can suggest areas for further research and development.
These projects aim to influence front-line practice at least as much as high level policy.
Dementia and older people with learning difficulties
The impact of dementia on people with learning difficulties is an under-researched area. We have completed work on staff awareness and training around pain, and have produced a new practice resource pack for those supporting people with learning difficulties and dementia, Supporting Derek.
A recent JRF study suggests that Talking Mats, a simple low-tech tool, can significantly improve communication - even for those with moderate or severe dementia. Another study looked at Talking Mats as an aid to involving family carers and people with early stage dementia in decision-making. JRF has also funded training on Talking Mats for care home staff across the UK for care home staff.
Good practice in care homes
Recent topics have included: