Profile – Ester Bellavia

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Ester Bellavia

Job Title:

PhD candidate at Newcastle University / Registered Nurse

Place of work / study:

Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University

Area of research:

Dementia care, Involvement in dementia research, Patient and Public Involvement

How is your work funded:

Alzheimer’s Society

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a PhD candidate at the Institute of Health & Society at Newcastle University. Currently, in collaboration with my supervisory team, I am conducting a research study that aims to explore the role of Patient and Public Involvement in dementia research and explain how best to involve people living with dementia and family carers. I have a Bachelor Degree in Nursing from the University of Catania in Italy, and an NIHR funded MA in Research Methods from the University of Nottingham. To date, I have been practising nursing within the NHS for four years. I am a quite outgoing, social person. I am very ambitious, and I am always looking for the next challenge to become the best version of myself. I love food, and I enjoy spending my spare time cooking, travelling and reading biographies. Also, I play basketball, and I am a Lakers fan; I could not imagine Christmas without watching NBA games.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I share my bedroom with a giant bear; his name is Joy, and he is tall 6 feet 2 inches. Last year, I rent a van to move to Newcastle with all my stuff; Joy shared with the driver and me the front seat as no space left in the back. A lot of people travelling in the same direction took a picture of us, and I waved to so many kids that I had pain in my right wrist for days.

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

Working as a nurse, I cared for many people living with dementia; in some of them, I recognised my granddad, while in their loved ones, some members of my family. With time, I developed a genuine interest in exploring different aspects of dementia disease, including the care offered to those being diagnosed. In 2016, I decided to take on the dementia care challenge and give my contribution volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Society and devoting my career to research in the field.

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