Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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G8 summit announces £4 million research project about improving life with dementia

Cardiff University based research centre collaborates in new UK dementia study

How can people with dementia be supported to live well?  What affects their ability to do this and when should support be offered to help people live well with this challenging disease?

A new project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and National Institute for Health Research hopes to answer these questions.

Researchers at Bangor University have been awarded £4 million to lead the ‘Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active life: Living well with dementia’ (IDEAL) project. The study will be carried out in collaboration with the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) (Cardiff University), Brunel University, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Sussex University, the Research Institute for the Care of Older People (RICE), the Alzheimer’s Society and Innovations in Dementia CIC.

Professor Linda Clare, who will lead the work at Bangor, said ‘IDEAL will be the first large-scale study of its kind, and we expect it to have a major impact on the lives and experiences of people with dementia and family carers in the UK and internationally. In addition, the study will help to develop the skills of researchers in the dementia field and stimulate new developments. We believe the results will provide a unique resource and focus for social science research on dementia.’

The IDEAL project is a five-year study of 1,500 people with dementia and their family carers throughout the UK.  Researchers will investigate how social and psychological factors affect the way in which people adapt to the effects of dementia and the challenges it presents, and how this changes over time as dementia progresses. The aim is to better identify at what stage individuals, communities, health and social care practitioners, care providers and policy-makers can intervene to improve the likelihood of living well with dementia.

The funding was announced at the G8 Dementia Summit in London today, 11 December 2013.  With the level of funding into research into dementia criticised by charities as being too low, the investment in these critical projects demonstrates a growing commitment to improving understanding and care.

Professor Ian Rees Jones, Director of WISERD and the Cardiff University lead on the project, said ‘this will be a unique study designed to follow a large number of people with dementia and their carers over time to explore their backgrounds and experiences and to identify factors that help or hinder them in adapting to and living with dementia’.


Notes to Editors

The IDEAL project

Over a two-year period the research team will recruit 1500 people with early-stage dementia, and at least 1000 primary carers, through NHS memory services in all areas of the UK. All participants will be visited on three occasions over three years, and will be asked to respond to questions about things that influence their well-being, quality of life and satisfaction with life. Participants whose well-being improves or declines markedly over the first year of the study will be interviewed in more depth to help explain why these changes have occurred.

To take part in this project, contact Dr Sharon Nelis,


The Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) was established in 2008 to draw together and build upon the existing expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies at the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea.

WISERD undertakes research and capacity building activities that underpin research infrastructure in the economic and social sciences across Wales and beyond.   WISERD is based at Cardiff University.


About Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities.  Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. 

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.


For further information, please contact:

WISERD Communications Team
Telephone: 029 2087 0026



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