The Healthcare Management Trust (HMT) has today announced it has entered into a partnership with the University of Stirling to fund a research programme over three years as part of its commitment to improving the quality of life for people living with dementia. HMT has pledged £299,866 to fund the research aiming to develop and test an intervention to support physical activity in care homes.

HMT’s Vice Chairman, John Folliott Vaughan, explained, “We want to enter into research partnerships that result in tangible findings that can be integrated into the practical settings of our Care Homes. This project with the University of Stirling is an excellent example. We expect it to provide rigorous research evidence for a newly developed approach to providing personalised physical activity for people with dementia living in care homes. We will work closely with the University of Stirling and our Care Homes will have an active role in informing the development of the approach and will be among the first to benefit from it and therefore improve their care for people with dementia.”

The project will develop, test and evaluate an intervention to provide personalised physical activity for people with dementia living in care homes which focuses on activities that can be integrated into everyday life. The approach will be developed in collaboration with care home staff, and embedded in care practice in the settings in which it is tested. Key outcome measures will be quality of life for residents, improved job satisfaction for care staff, and better care in care homes.

The approach to physical activity to be developed will have the following attributes:

• It will be personalised for individual residents and integrated into their care plans;

• It will be integrated into care practice in the care home;

• It will be meaningful for people with dementia and for care staff;

• It will be sustainable, and adaptable to people’s changing capacity and needs;

• It will include everyday movement and activities of daily living;

• It will be grounded in the realities of care home life and service delivery;

• Outcomes will be specific and measurable

The overall aim of the study will be pursued through investigating the following research questions:

• What are the current levels and patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour off people with dementia in care homes?

• How do care practices in these care homes support or inhibit physical activity of people with dementia?

• What could a personalised approach to physical activity, embedded in care plans, look like?

• What are the barriers and facilitators to implementing such an approach?

• What are the outcomes of implementation for staff and residents with dementia?

The research will be lead by Professor Alison Bowes from the University of Stirling’s world renowned Dementia Services Development Centre, which provides publications and training relating to best practice and evidence based care for people with dementia.

Professor Bowes commented; “The University of Stirling is delighted to be working with HMT on this project, for which engagement with the real world of care home provision is essential. HMT are recognised in taking a proactive approach to the provision of healthcare and this research will help directly improve the quality of life for its residents.”

Chairman of The Healthcare Management Trust, Paul Steele commented: “Funding research is seen by HMT Trustees as a core part of the charity’s work. These projects form part of a portfolio of research projects designed to improve the quality of life and treatment of people with dementia and the Trust is proud to support them.”

Further details of each research project funded by HMT can be found at:

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