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RSP Member - Institute of Mental Health

Research by Dr Fiona Marshall, located at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham focuses on rurality and dementia. The Dementia Centre is located in the IMH and members include people affected by dementia, researchers, clinical staff and allied professionals. The Dementia Centre undertakes and applies research nationally and internationally.

Fiona has an interest in rurality, rural communities and the design and delivery of services which meet the needs of rural dwellers, especially older people. Fiona sits on the Parliamentary rural Dementia group and has contributed to the rural dementia guidelines produced by the Alzheimer’s Society. Research interests include the organisation of rural services, innovative models of care delivery, care farming and remote technologies. Fiona is a regular speaker on local radio and frequently presents at conferences and policy meetings.

The work includes the study; Scaling the Peaks, which is funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, UK. This study examines the infrastructures which impact upon the design and delivery of health and social care in rural and remote regions of the Peak District National Park. The study included the perceptions of families affected by dementia and providers of care. Provisional findings indicate that barriers to accessing care include the availability of accessible transport, housing, communication technologies, and home care providers. Other factors, specific to growing old in rural areas, include fuel poverty, inappropriate housing and isolation from family and friends. Living in rural areas with dementia is complex and entails balancing the desire to remain in own home with the practicalities and risks associated with location.

The study has identified that attitudes towards rural dwelling older people, by health and social care providers are often urban-centric and lack a comprehensive understanding of rurality. These attitudes can impact upon the design and delivery of rural appropriate services, thus making them less robust. The study calls for “rural proofing” of services with a focus on rurality issues. Proposed models of support include local dementia friendly communities, multi-functionality of provision and the development of robust tools to support decision-making by formal providers.

Click here for morte information on the Live Research project: Scaling the Peaks; Understanding the barriers and drivers to providing and using dementia friendly community services in rural areas

Fiona can be contacted by email: fionamarshall2@nottingham.ac.uk



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