PhD Studentship Promoting well-being for residents with dementia living in a purpose built care environment

This doctoral project aims to contribute to academic and practice knowledge about how to improve the lived experiences of people with dementia living in care homes. This will be achieved by providing and monitoring a range of activities designed to promote physical, mental and social stimulation for those with a diagnosis of dementia living in a long-stay care home setting.

Rationale: Dementia is a UK Government National Health Priority. 820, 000 people live with dementia in the UK and this will double by 2050 (Alzheimers Research UK, 2012). Currently, 70% of those living in care homes have dementia. Research into initiatives that seek to improve care homes for people with dementia to impact positively on well-being and life satisfaction is critical. Research has demonstrated the challenges of providing high quality care in institutional environments (Help the Aged 2007, Froggatt et al 2009); where the long reported tendency for the needs and views of staff to be prioritised above the needs of those receiving care (Jacques and Innes, 1998); and that even when attempts to improve care provision experiences are instigated these are often not matched with improvements in resident well-being (Innes and Surr 2001). Despite the acknowledgement that many people with dementia will live in care homes there is a dearth of research evidence about what works and why in care home provision for this particular group of people (Innes et al 2011, Dendron, 2013). However, much evidence exists supporting the need for physical, mental and social activity to maintain or even to enhance function in those with dementia (Karp et al 2006). This PhD study will contribute to this relative lack of research in the dementia field. This project responds directly to the English National Dementia Strategy (DH,2009).

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Understanding the contribution care homes can make to quality of life for those living with dementia is currently an under-researched area in the dementia field. This doctoral work will therefore contribute to academic knowledge about what works and why for those living with dementia care homes.

Specific practice outcomes include the development of key principles for:

• The type of activities promoted in the academic literature that work in practice to promote well-being for people with dementia living in a care home.

• The process of supporting the ongoing well-being of people with dementia through the application of research evidence about the factors that support well-being in a real world context.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates for this fully-funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 3 years. All candidates must satisfy the University’s minimum doctoral entry criteria for studentships of an honours degree at Upper Second Class (2.1) and/or an appropriate Masters degree. An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project.

For details on how to apply please visit
For project details please contact To discuss this opportunity further please contact: Prof Anthea Innes via email

Closing Date

The first call for applications will close on 21st June 2013.

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