Working from home as a Professor of Family Care in Dementia

In this blog I thought I’d share what a professor gets up to when working from home during a pandemic. The phone has not rung this morning so I am clearly not to be furloughed – am I the only person that had to quickly Google that word last month? Being permitted to carry on working is a blessing as things have never been busier. There are of course unexpected opportunities to assist the COVID-19 pandemic through research, so I have facilitated some hugely useful discussions with others about what research could best help those living with dementia and their families, during this crisis in the immediate term, middle and longer term. Our priority areas embrace two of our strengths relating to Person Centred Care research and studies with care homes and retirement settings. So bidding is the order of the day today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable few weeks.

During this time at home with my children they have impressed me with skills I didn’t know they had. My youngest daughter Poppy’s ability to do origami has become evident (see photo), whilst my eldest has developed high-level skills around persuasion (not to go on daily walks)!

 

 

My own skills have developed quickly, if painfully, in various online platforms for video meetings with colleagues. Mostly these are work-related but we have also built in keeping-in-touch meetings for support and contact so we don’t lose the amazing connection we all have as a team here in the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester. My ears hurt wearing headphones for so many hours some days and I can only imagine how NHS, social care and community care colleagues are struggling to wear Personal Protective Clothing. Hats off to them for all they are doing, bearing in mind they did fantastic work before the pandemic too and will after, hopefully with more reward and recognition, which is long overdue.

        

 

Some of the research bidding I am working on relates to psychological interventions for people living with psychological trauma which we need families to consent to, music interventions for families, further development of Meeting Centres and training courses for family and friends caring for people living with dementia. In my role as the Dementia Carers Count Professor of Family Care, I have been working closely with colleagues at this national charity to look at how we use data (information) to further develop courses for family carers. I am also planning some patient and public involvement by email and webinar, to gain family carer’s views on some of our early research ideas. This is because we aim to translate all our research into practice which, together with constant evaluation and feedback on our services from carers, it continually informs and develops what we offer.

I have also noted that it is national Carers Week in June (8th to 15th) and I need to start planning what our contribution to that will be. Before then I will be preparing content for our new module Family Care in the Dementia context, as part of our Post-Grad Certificate in Dementia Studies, here at Worcester Uni. More information can be found here.

Time for the daily permitted walk now. This is the highlight of it below. Is anyone else finding a heightened interest in nature lately?