UON Dementia Research and Innovation Centre (NDRIC)

At NDRIC, we work in partnership with health and social care providers, voluntary organisations, students, and the public to design and develop contemporary and innovative approaches to the provision of person centred community-based care and support for people living with dementia (PlwD) and their carers.

Around a fifth of people aged 85 or older suffer from some form of dementia. It currently affects about 800,000 people, which is projected to rise to 1m in the UK by 2025 and 2m by 2050. In Northamptonshire, the number of people predicted to have dementia will rise from 6,935 in 2008 (of which 65% are female) to 11,899 in 2025. Many will experience unnecessary medical interventions in the early stages of the disease due to developing crisis, stress, loneliness, and social isolation. Given the increasing prevalence of all types of dementia globally in the next 30 years, but particularly in the aging population; early identification and recognition of symptoms associated with the diagnosis can enable individuals to develop social support networks and personal coping strategies to help them to live well with the condition longer in the community. As a changemaker University, at Northampton, inspiring, developing and supporting Changemakers is what we do. Changemakers are simply those who spot a social or environmental problem, and have the skills and grit to do something about it.

Led by Professor Jacqueline Parkes, the team at NDRIC will build on their experience and expertise in establishing person-centred community-based psychosocial support networks; diagnostic processes and post diagnostic support mechanisms in YOD; assistive technologies, developing integrated care in community settings; and neurological disease and portable balance measurement.

NDRIC will focus on:

  • Promoting early diagnosis and early intervention for all people experiencing the signs and symptoms associated with dementia.
  • Developing training for primary care practitioners into the signs and symptoms associated with all types of dementia.
  • Promoting timely access to appropriate health and social care pathways.
  • Developing community-based awareness of dementia and social avenues to enhance the quality of life of community dwelling people with dementia and their carers.

Our projects include:

  • The University’s inaugural Changemaker Challenge Project: Developing a Northamptonshire Centre which will provide integrated holistic post-diagnostic community-based support for People living with Dementia and their carers in Northamptonshire.
  • The Angela Project: Improving diagnosis and post diagnostic support for younger people living with dementia and their caregivers (funded by the Alzheimer’s Society 2016, and in partnership with UCL and the University of Bradford).
  • Developing tiers 1, 2, and 3 Dementia Awareness Training Packages as part of the Dementia Academic Action Group (funded by HEETV).
  • The Annual Memory Day: The purpose of the Memory Day is to bring together individuals and organisations from across Northamptonshire to provide information and advice to people with dementia, carers, general public and businesses about dementia and memory.

Ensuring that PlwD and their carers are actively engaged in all aspects of training and education, and research management is integral to all work undertaken by the Centre. Their views are at the heart of all we offer, in the hope that together we can shape service delivery across Northamptonshire and beyond.

NDRIC research updates

A new young onset dementia public engagement project called the DEFIN-YD (Dementia Experts For Involvement Network for Younger people with Dementia) Project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, will be starting in January 2020. Led by Dr Mary O’Malley and Professor Jacqueline Parkes from the University of Northampton, the DEFIN-YD Project aims to share knowledge about young dementia research and to create a younger people with dementia and their families’ public and patient involvement (PPI) network in the North (Bradford), Midlands (Northampton) and South (London) of England. The aim is to develop ideas for future research in this area and provide a reference group to support researchers developing projects in this field. If you would like any more information on the project, please get in touch with Mary O’Malley by email on Mary.O’Malley@northampton.ac.uk.

Dementia Projects in the News

UON Dementia Research and Innovation Centre Staff

Professor Jacqueline Parkes

Professor Jacqueline Parkes

Professor Jacqueline Parkes, Professor in Applied in Mental Health. Her responsibilities within her role as a Professor in Applied Mental Health include leading and co-ordinating the research strategy across all branches of the nursing and midwifery academic teams.

She works extensively with local organisations to evaluate their provision of health and social care services, including community-based interventions for people living with dementia. She is the Chair of the Northamptonshire Dementia Action Alliance and is a member of the Leicestershire Dementia Action Alliance. Read more about Jacqueline’s research and role at the University on her profile.

Dr Karen Anthony

Karen Anthony

Dr Karen Anthony, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Bioscience, studied biochemistry at the University of Leeds spending one year as a sandwich student at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Essex.

Dr Kathleen Mortimer

Dr Kathleen Mortimer is an Associate Professor in Marketing Communications in the Faculty of Business and Law.

Her research area is in advertising and consumer behaviour. More specifically, she has written in the area of services advertising, integrated marketing communications and advertising regulation and has published in numerous scholarly journals including Journal of Services Marketing, European Journal of Marketing and Journal of Marketing Management.

Kathleen is interested in the role that businesses can play in increasing dementia awareness for staff and customers and the impact this can have on brand reputation.

Mary Burton

Mary Burton is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy for the Faculty of Health and Society, University of Northampton. She has worked as a qualified Occupational therapist within inpatient hospitals, Older Persons services and Community Learning Disabilities prior to joining the University of Northampton.

Mary O’Malley

Mary O’Malley is a Research Assistant at the University of Northampton working on the Angela Project, an Alzheimer’s Society funded project focused on improving diagnosis and post-diagnostic support for younger people living with dementia. Mary completed her PhD at Bournemouth University in 2018, on the development and application of dementia-friendly design to support navigation in care environments. Her research interests focus on spatial memory and the application of dementia-friendly design; and using mixed methods approaches to improve the diagnosis of dementia in younger adults.

Alison Ward

Alison Ward, Researcher (Faculty of Health and Society) is an experienced researcher, with particular research interests and expertise in dementia, creative engagement and wellbeing, and patient and public involvement.

Jordan Elliott-King

Jordan Elliott-King is a Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Northampton. Having recently completed her PhD at Loughborough University, Jordan’s research includes both quantitative and qualitative methods and her main research interests are physical activity for people with dementia, ageing, dementia diagnostics for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities and designing for dementia.