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UWS Event to Advance Later Life Research

University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is hosting a British Society of Gerontology event at its Hamilton Campus on Thursday 31 August 2017.

The event, ‘The Past, Present and Future: Supporting Novice Researchers’, aims to bring together students, older people, practitioners and lecturers from across Lanarkshire to discuss later life issues.

The event, which is jointly hosted with NHS Lanarkshire, will see delegates from a range of local groups including Seniors Together, NHS Lanarkshire and Erskine Care in attendance.

Delegates will discuss previous later life research undertaken by UWS and explore opportunities for future collaboration. A key focus will be the best way to support new researchers undertaking work in this important area.

Collaborative Partnership

The event will also see the official launch of a collaborative partnership between UWS and Udston Hospital and Erskine Care Homes which will be the basis of teaching enhancement and research projects.

This partnership, which initially will focus on people with dementia and older people, will see UWS exploring Tovertafel to enhance teaching and learning and to inspire research.

Tovertafel is an active care innovation using technology that connects older people in the late stage of their dementia journey with each other, their relatives and carers and with their surroundings, all the while stimulating movement and interaction. UWS is the first University in the UK to utilise Tovertafel in a project such as this.

An Insight into the Project

This project will see UWS working with Esrkine Park Home and Udston Hospital’s Brandon Ward to explore a collaborative use of the technology within two different care settings, enabling students to move beyond the classroom and get hands-on experience working with older people with dementia, their families and their carers. Over the past few months, UWS has developed a relationship with Shift8, the British franchisee of Tovertafel, and their founders, Mehdi Bedioui and John Ramsay, the latter of whom will be attending the launch to give some background on his company and explore some exciting potential research opportunities with the University.

There will also be an opportunity for delegates to sample the School’s virtual reality kit and try a simulated dementia experience via Alzheimer’s Research UK’s ‘Walk Through Dementia’ app in order to build on the well-known simulation experience the School offers in its Domus Initiative. This will provide a more empathetic understanding of the condition and enable delegates to experience the enormous potential benefits of virtual reality for teaching and learning in healthcare.

Later life research plays a hugely important not just to our nursing curriculum in the School but also in professional practice and we are delighted to be hosting this event.
Margaret Brown, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery