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Lindsey Collins

Part Time PhD Student

Lindsey Collins

Research title: Understanding the experience of eating and drinking difficulties from the perspective of people living with dementia in residential care homes.

Supervisors: Professor Jan Oyebode and Dr Andrew Hart.

"I am a part-time PhD student, funded by a Clinical Training Fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Society. I also work as a Dementia Care Practice Development Consultant and Trainer for the University of Bradford. This role involves project leading, writing and delivering face to face and cascade training to health and social care organisations throughout the UK. I will continue in this role whilst completing my PhD, which I commenced in October 2015.

My clinical background is as a Speech and Language Therapist. I have worked for the NHS for many years, supporting people living with dementia in a variety of clinical and social settings. Speech and language therapists (SLT) are the core health profession in providing support for people experiencing communication difficulties as well as dysphagia, which is a term used to describe eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

An estimated 50% of people living with dementia will develop dysphagia, with this number increasing to up to 93% of people living with dementia in care homes. Eating and drinking is important to meet physical, emotional and social needs and having dysphagia can impact all of these areas.

The aims of my study are: to understand the experiences of people living with dementia and dysphagia, their family carers and formal care staff; identify factors that impact on their wellbeing; and determine the experiences of SLTs in working with people living with dementia and dysphagia in care homes.

This is the first study that seeks to explore and understand the experience of dysphagia from the perspective of people living with dementia. The findings of this study will inform care practices for care home staff and healthcare professionals both nationally and internationally to support the physical, emotional and social needs of individuals living with dementia and dysphagia."

Lindsey is also Dementia Care Consultant and Trainer at the School of Dementia Studies. Find out more about her role on the SDS Team page.