Wed, 3 Jul 2013

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Health Research Board (HRB) has announced that it is to co-fund a new large scale research project on family carers and dementia in Ireland.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Health Research Board (HRB) has announced that it is to co-fund a new large scale research project spanning three years and costing a total of €300,000 which will focus on the health of those caring for people with Alzheimer's and dementia in Ireland.
The project will recruit 300 spousal dementia caregivers aged over 50 with research being conducted by researchers in Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN)’s NEIL (Neuro Enhancement for Independent Lives) programme with Professor Brian Lawlor as the principal investigator and Professor Ian Robertson and Dr. Sabina Brennan as co-investigators. Dr. Maria Pertl has recently been appointed to run the project.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland says that this is a unique study in an Irish context and welcomes the opportunity to partner with Trinity College Dublin and Professor Brian Lawlor to share knowledge and expertise in order to get a full picture of the determinants of the health of carers of people with dementia.
This research will provide, for the first time in Ireland, information on the determinants of the health of carers of people with dementia, says Grainne Mc Gettrick, Policy & Research Manager, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.
"Irish dementia care policy has a massive reliance on the family carer as the main provider of dementia care.  By gaining an understanding of the carers’ health determinants this research will inform policy into the future that can point to the development of targeted interventions in order to improve carers health and make care in the community a viable option,” says Mc Gettrick. 
Prof. Brian Lawlor who will lead the research team says that it is not possible to treat the person with dementia without taking the caregiver into consideration.
“With the increasing numbers of older people living with dementia, more and more of us are going find ourselves in the caregiving role. By understanding the effects of caregiving on cognitive functioning, we can think about how to develop novel interventions that will benefit the caregiver but also will have a knock on benefit for the person with dementia. Ultimately, we want to improve the quality of life of the person with dementia and their caregiver, allowing the person with dementia to be able to stay at home with a good quality of life for as long as possible,” he says.
Who can take part? People over the age of 50 who are currently providing care to their spouse or partner with dementia at home. If you are interested in finding out more about this study, or if you are interested in taking part, please contact:
Dr. Maria Pertl
NEIL (NeuroEnhancement for Independent Lives)
Trinity Institute of Neuroscience
Trinity College Dublin
Email:; Telephone: 01 896 8414


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