Dr Nuriye Kupeli
Senior Research Fellow
Place of work / study:
Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department, University College London
Area of Research:
Understanding how compassion is experienced by family carers and developing interventions to support carers in their role.
How is your work funded?
Junior Fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Society
Tell us a little about yourself:
Having completed my PhD in health psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, I took up a research associate post with Prof Liz Sampson and Dr Louise Jones to explore ways in which we can improve care for people living with advanced dementia and their carers. Through my PhD I developed an understanding of self-criticism and compassion and while one can be detrimental to health and wellbeing, the other can help us to manage difficult emotions and reduce our risk of psychopathology. I became interested in how self-criticism and compassion might be experienced by family carers, how we might be able to measure these concepts and ways in which we can enhance carer compassion (for the self, from others and receiving compassion). I was awarded an Alzheimer’s Society Junior fellowship entitled Continuing Compassion in Care (CCiC) in 2018 to explore this.
In addition to my fellowship I am also leading a large cohort study to understand the palliative care needs of people living with dementia and their carers as part of a large ESRC-NIHR dementia initiative grant entitled Empowering Better End of Life Dementia Care (EMBED-Care Programme). I have also co-led an ESRC-UKRI funded study with Dr Nathan Davies where we developed a decision guide to support family carers when making difficult healthcare decisions for people living with dementia during the pandemic.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I used to be cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic Airways – gap year (or 3 years!) not-sure-what-I-should-do-with-my-life job between A-Levels and going to University.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
As an undergraduate student I took up an honorary research position at the memory clinic at Lister Hospital. My initial interest and what led to the topic of my final year dissertation was understanding the memory functions that become impaired during the early stages of dementia in order to identify the early markers of Alzheimer’s disease. However, even during my short stint at the memory clinic I could see how difficult the caring role is and the limited support that is available for carers. Despite the difficulties and the stress of caring, I found carers still did their utmost best for the person they were looking after even when it was detrimental to their health and wellbeing.
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