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The University of Southampton
Getting out and about: using technologies for safer walking

Impact of our research

Our key objective is to enhance quality of life for citizens with dementia living at home. We will do this in the following ways, by:

Creating opportunities for men and women with dementia to learn and take an active part in research

Throughout the project, the perspectives of men and women with dementia are prioritised and we are using methods (such as ‘go along’ walking interviews) that enable participation. Participants have the chance to attend events and meetings and to share their views on how best to communicate and present findings. Our advisory group, SAGE, is made up of people with dementia and their spouses, all of whom play a vital role in decision making.

Producing practical information for people with dementia and their families to use

Our aim is to work in partnership with key stakeholders, including individuals and families living with dementia, our funders, the police, industry partners, and health and social care workers to co-produce practical information about using technologies for safer walking for people to access from the Alzheimer’s Society website, and other relevant sites. This will be launched in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Adventure at a grassroots event at Lodge Hill, to reflect and emphasise the importance of getting out and about for people with dementia.

Influencing the Global Dementia Friendly Communities (DFC) policy agenda

Our aim is to influence global policy by providing evidence and examples that Alzheimer’s Disease International, the Dementia Action Alliance, Dementia Alliance International, and others working to enhance quality of life for people with dementia, can use to enact the ‘Dementia Friendly Communities’ DFC agenda.

Influencing the Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia (2020)

Our aim is to influence this key area of national policy by raising awareness of the research amongst policy makers, politicians, national decision makers, and senior scholars, by networking speaking at meetings and conferences, publishing articles in magazines and journals, and through social media channels. Our hope is that the evidence we produce on using technologies for safer walking will be useful for developing, implementing and evaluating this policy work.

Influencing assessment practices

Our aim is to provide robust evidence for Admiral Nurses, Occupational Therapists, and other clinicians to use when conducting clinical assessments with people with dementia who live at home. Our hope is that research findings will give clinicians the knowledge and confidence required to assess for and support the use of technologies for safer walking by people with dementia. The research is likely to lead to new evidence in the form of standards of care and ethical principles that decision makers at all levels can use to guide their assessment practices with this client group.

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