Improving the quality of life for care home residents with chronic diseases

When nearing the end of their life, care home residents with chronic diseases can often find themselves in and out of hospital. This affects their quality of life and is distressing for both them and their families. Prof. Irene Higginson and Drs Anna Bone and Clare Ellis-Smith, from the Cicely Saunders Institute, initiated the Integrated Community Palliative Partnership (ICPP) project to investigate how to improve care for people in care homes with long-term illnesses.

Improving geriatric care through a new innovative training programme for medical students

Despite the UK’s ageing population, there is a lack of training in geriatric care for undergraduate medical students. In collaboration with colleagues, Dr Grace Pearson and Dr Emily Henderson, both at the University of Bristol, have developed a new undergraduate curriculum that delivers more effective training on how to care holistically for older people. They set out to evaluate the training so see whether it can inspire more students to pursue careers in geriatric medicine.

A helping hand with insulin injections: training Healthcare Support Workers to support older people with diabetes

It’s best practice for people with diabetes to look after their health by injecting their own insulin. As people get older, however, they are likely to have other conditions that make this harder or unsafe to do. Dr Karen Stenner, from the University of Surrey and Principal Investigator of the CINDI Project, set out to evaluate the emerging practice of registered nurses delegating insulin injections to Healthcare Support Workers in community nursing teams. Could this alleviate workload pressures and bring benefits to patients and nursing teams alike?

Harnessing health data to improve care for older people

When Dr Oliver Todd from the University of Leeds embarked on a Dunhill Medical Trust Research Training Fellowship aimed at finding out whether blood pressure management is linked to an increased risk of falls, it opened up a whole new world of research to improve care for older people.

Can the epigenetic clock predict musculoskeletal disease?

Almost two-thirds of people aged 65 and over live with musculoskeletal disease, but current methods of predicting who is most at risk have limited use. Through his DMT-funded PhD, academic clinician Dr Nicholas Fuggle made an exciting discovery that could help to predict musculoskeletal ageing ahead of time.

Why does an infection after stroke cause worse disability?

Recovering from a stroke is hard enough yet many patients go on to get an infection, sometimes months into their recovery. For some of these patients, this can lead to more disability. Dr Rebecca Trueman, at the University of Nottingham, led a pilot study to uncover new targets that could help to protect recovering stroke patients.

Sunset over the sea.

Hospital, hospice or home? How social deprivation affects end of life care

End of life care is a sensitive but hugely important subject. Many people say that they would like to die at home rather than in hospital. Yet living in a more deprived area means you’re significantly more likely to die in hospital, less likely to die in a hospice, and less likely to die at home. Joanna Davies is investigating why this happens, and how it might be changed to better fulfil people’s wishes.

Stimulating the vagus nerve to improve gait in Parkinson’s

Falls are a major cause of lost independence in people with Parkinson’s. Dr Alison Yarnall is trialling a new method to reduce fall risk and improve walking in people with Parkinson’s, which involves non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve.