Researchers at Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences have been awarded over half a million pounds in funding to undertake fellowships in dementia research.

These fellowships, funded by the Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, aim to build capacity in health and social care research by supporting individuals to become independent researchers and to undertake high-quality research projects’.

In Wales, there at 45,000 people living with dementia and the cost of illness has been estimated at £1.4 billion per year and the highest part of this cost is unpaid care by family and friends.

Dr Catherine MacLeod of the Dementia Services Development Centre Wales (DSDC) has been awarded a social care fellowship to explore the health and care service needs of people living with dementia or cognitive impairment, and their carers.

“We want to ensure that people living with dementia and their families receive the right help and the right support at the right time. I hope my research will make a difference to the support people receive.” she said.

Dr Carys Jones of the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) has been awarded a social care fellowship to explore the social value of third sector services for family carers of people living with dementia.

Speaking of her fellowship, Carys said: “Family carers provide vital support to people living with dementia, yet their needs are often overlooked. This important research will look at services that support families through providing emotional support, practical advice about caring, and advice on maintaining the health and well-being of carers”

Both fellowships will identify what works for whom in the provision of these services, will highlight examples of best practice, and examine factors that make it easier for people to use and access services.

People living with dementia and their families will be at the centre of this work, actively shaping the development of the research, and working with researchers to ensure that the voices of people living with dementia and their carers are heard.