Guest blog

Guest Blog – INTERDEM Taskforce exploring Inequalities in Care

Blog from Dr Clarissa Giebel

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In October, we were finally able to attend the Alzheimer’s Europe Conference in person again. Fair to say restrictions easing and the ability to meet one another in person again after such a long time was exciting, and made up half of the time of attending the conference – catching up over continuously flowing tea and delicious served food.

Attached to each annual Alzheimer’s Europe Conference is the annual INTERDEM meeting, where members and Taskforce Leads present on their annual progress and new evidence. It is also a great way to re-connect and catch up with fellow European researchers in the field in a purposefully planned meeting environment on a smaller scale than the actual conference. For those of you who are not yet familiar with INTERDEM – this is a European network of dementia researchers focusing on Early detection and timely INTERvention in DEMentia.

Taskforces are a way of strategically bringing together researchers on different topic areas, and conduct research and apply for funding together. There are Taskforces on for example social health and environment/architecture. This year, I introduced a new Taskforce looking at Inequalities in Dementia Care.

Over the past few years, my research into the topic has expanded from national to global research, including working with Colombia, Uganda, India, Netherlands, and Australia. That’s why having the established platform of INTERDEM to bring together European researchers in the field seemed like a good idea to try and all work together on addressing the myriad of system-, community-, and individual-level barriers that exist for people when trying to access and use dementia care.

With my colleague Dr Kerry Hanna as Deputy, and together with the Alzheimer’s Society and the European Working Group of People living with Dementia, as well as 6 countries represented already, our first activities will include a position paper on inequalities in dementia care across Europe, as well as a review into inequalities and joint grant applications to address different levels of inequalities together.

Whilst there is growing research on individual barriers to accessing care for dementia, such as financial and educational background, ethnicity, or neighbourhood deprivation, very little research has focused on the intersectionality of different generic and dementia-specific barriers. Even less so, there are very little to no European comparisons.

Hopefully, this Taskforce will help to address this gap in the evidence base, whilst also providing a crucial platform to connect across country borders, regardless of Brexit or not, showcasing the strength there is in international collaborations.

Note, if you are an INTERDEM member and working on the subject area, please drop me an email (Clarissa.giebel@liverpool.ac.uk).


Dr Clarissa Giebel

Dr Clarissa Giebel

Author

Dr Clarissa Giebel is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool and NIHR ARC North West Coast. Clarissa has been working in dementia care research for over 10 years focusing her research on helping people with dementia to live at home independently and well for longer, addressing inequalities that people with dementia and carers can face. Outside of her day work, Clarissa has also organised a local dementia network – the Liverpool Dementia & Ageing Research Forum, and has recently started her own podcast called the Ageing Scientist.

 

 

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