DSDC Staff

 

Katherine Algar-Skaife

Research Fellow,

Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) Research Centre, School of Health Sciences

 

Tel: 01248 382226
Email: k.algar@bangor.ac.uk

Twitter: @kat_algar

 

Biography:

Kat is a Dementia Care researcher, passionate about improving the quality of life and well-being of people living with dementia and those who support them, and in particular through the arts. Over the past eleven years, she has established an early career track record in the field of dementia care, supervised research staff and students, and won increasing grant capture. Throughout her research career, she has collaborated with organisations such as Age Cymru and Flintshire Social Services to ensure that her research has a real-life impact on people affected by dementia.

Kat’s research interests lie within the intersection of arts, health and social sciences and therefore offers opportunities for creative, collaborative, and applied research methods. Kat led the evaluation of Age Cymru’s cARTrefu project (a Wales-wide arts in care settings programme) and the ‘Creative Conversations’ project (which developed an arts-based programme to enhance skills of the dementia care workforce). She is currently leading the independent evaluation of Age Connect Torfaen’s ‘Zest for Life’ project, a specialised arts programme for younger people with dementia.

Kat is Chair of the Involvement and Engagement Group and workstream co-lead for the Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR); the Wales Coordinator for Join Dementia Research (JDR) and a steering group member of the British Society of Gerontology (BSG) Creative Ageing Special Interest Group. She is also a Dementia Friends Champion, leading Dementia Friends information sessions to raise awareness and challenge the stigma of dementia in a public arena.

Kat has presented at the Welsh Government Cross Party Group (CPG) on Arts in Health and is peer-reviewer for a number of high-impact journals, funding bodies and conference committees.

External Committees

  • British Society of Gerontology (BSG) Creative Ageing Special Interest Group Steering Group
  • Wales Arts Health and Well-being Network (WAHWN) Steering Group

 

University Committees

  • School of Health Sciences Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team
  • Dementia Friendly Bangor University [Co-secretary of Steering Group]
  • Schools of Health and Medical Sciences Academic Ethics Committee

 

Postgraduate Project Opportunities:

Kat welcomes the opportunity to supervise PhD work in Ageing and Dementia Studies including how the arts relate to older people, those living with dementia, their un-paid carers and those employed in the social care sector. She particularly welcomes qualitative or mixed-methods studies about:

  • The arts in health and social care
  • Interventions to improve the quality of life and well-being of people living with dementia and those who support them
  • Creative ageing
  • Improving the well-being of care home residents and staff
  • Dementia Friendly Communities

However, she is happy to discuss other ideas, so please get in touch: k.algar@bangor.ac.uk

 

Grants:

A randomised controlled trial and feasibility study of the effects of an e-health intervention ‘iSupport’ for reducing distress of dementia carers, especially in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  NIHR-PHR programme (£1.48m).  Start date 1st January 2021 for 36 months.  Team:  Gill Windle (lead investigator); Co-investigators: Rhiannon Tudor Edwards, Zoe Hoare, Paul Brocklehurst, Kat Algar-Skaife, Patricia Masterson Algar, Gwenllian Hughes (Bangor); Joshua Stott and Aimee Spector (UCL); Kieren Eagan (University of Strathclyde).  Partners: Carers Trust Wales, Alzheimer’s Scotland, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; with input from the WHO.

Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR).  Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure award. (2.8m). 1st April 2020 for 5 years.  Kat Algar-Skaife is a co-applicant and co-lead of the Public and Professional Engagement Work Stream.

Arts in Care Settings: Embedding the cARTrefu Approach in the Social Care Sector. KESS 2 Masters by Research (in partnership with Age Cymru). March 2020-21 (Co-supervisor with Dr Diane Seddon)

Independent evaluation of ‘Zest for Life’, a specialised arts programme for people living with young onset dementia. Age Connects Torfaen £24,952, January 2019 -July 2021 (Lead Applicant)

What is the impact of DementiaGo in residential homes for residents, relatives and staff? KESS II MRes Sept 2018-2019 (Supervisor)

Can the arts influence care staff representations and assumptions of advanced dementia? The Wellcome Trust Residency Hub.  £15,236.00 April 17-July 18 (Co -I).

‘Creative Conversations’: An exploratory study of an arts in health approach to embedding person-centred care and improving communication between care staff and people living with dementia. Health and Care Research Wales Social Care Award, £203, 286, October 2016 – May 2018 (PI)

Recognising the challenge, responding to need and mapping a way forward: developing an environment to safeguard the quality of life (QOL) and wellbeing of people with advanced dementia in the care home sector. KESS-funded PhD study which is a partnership between DSDC Wales, Fairways Care Ltd, and the Drapers Company. Sept 2016-2019 (Supervisor)

Independent Evaluation of cARTrefu – arts in care settings. Age Cymru, £24,874, January 2015 – Oct 2017 (Lead Applicant)

Can an arts programme increase quality of life and well-being of care home residents with dementia? An exploratory study. NISCHR PhD studentship, £59,947, April 2011 – April 2014 (PhD Student)

 

Publications:

Algar-Skaife, K., Seddon, D., Barr, K. & Lord, S. (2020) Implementing, researching and evaluating a Wales-wide arts in residential care programme: Reflections from the cARTrefu programme.  FPOP Bulletin, vol. 152, Oct 2020 pp. 12-19 https://shop.bps.org.uk/fpop-bulletin-152-october-2020

Dowlen, R., Bradfield, E., Algar-Skaife, K., Gray, K. & Bailey, C. (2020) The British Society of Gerontology’s Creative Ageing Special Interest Group: Reflections on our achievements to date and aspirations for the future. FPOP Bulletin, vol. 152, Oct 2020 pp. 31-35 https://shop.bps.org.uk/fpop-bulletin-152-october-2020

Hughes, S., Woods, R.T., Algar-Skaife, K., Jelley, H. & Jones, C.H (2019) A Collaborative Approach: Care Staff and Families Working Together to Safeguard the Quality of Life of Residents Living With Advanced Dementia. Journal of Central Nervous System Disease. (11) 1–9 DOI: 10.1177/1179573519843872

Windle, G., Algar-Skaife, K., Caulfield, M., Pickering-Jones, L. Killick, J., Zeilig, H. & Tischler, V (2019) Enhancing communication between dementia care staff and their residents: An arts-inspired intervention. Aging & Mental Health https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2019.1590310

Hughes, S., Woods, R.T., Algar-Skaife, K., & Jones, C.H (2019) Understanding quality of life and well-being for people living with advanced dementia. Nursing Older People doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1129

Algar-Skaife, K. Caulfield, M., & Woods, B. (2017) cARTrefu: Creating artists in residents. A national arts in care homes participatory and mentoring programme. Evaluation report 2015-2017. DSDC Wales Report, Bangor University, School of Healthcare Sciences.

Algar, K. & Woods, B. (2016) cARTrefu – arts in care settings Year 1 Evaluation Report. DSDC Report. Bangor

Algar, K. & Woods, B. (2015) Dementia RED Care Information Centre Point Service Mid-term Evaluation Report. DSDC Report. Bangor

Algar, K., Woods, R.T., & Windle, G. (2014) Measuring the quality of life and well-being of people with dementia: A review of observational measures. Dementia. Online First. DOI: 10.1177/1471301214540163

Algar, K. (2012) Lost in Art too....? Evaluation of Art Sessions Provided by Denbighshire County Council. DSDC report. Bangor

Salisbury, K., Algar, K & Windle, G.  (2011). Do we know enough about the potential of art programmes to improve the quality of life and well-being of people with dementia? The Journal of Dementia Care, 19(3), 33-37.

Woods, B. & Algar, K. (2009) Evaluation of Flintshire Admiral Nurse Service. DSDC report, Bangor.

 

Conferences:

  • Algar-Skaife, K. & Lord, S. (2020) How can we make arts in care settings sustainable? Lessons from the cARTrefu programme. British Society of Gerontology 49th Annual Conference [Moved online due to COVID-19], 1-3rd July 2020.
  • Algar-Skaife, K. (2019) Creativity in dementia care: two examples from Wales. British Society of Gerontology 48th Annual Conference , Liverpool, 10- 12 July 2019.
  • Algar-Skaife, K. & Killick, J. (2018) Creative Conversations: an arts based approach to care staff development. 13th UK Dementia Congress, Brighton, 6th-8th November 2018.
  • Killick, J. & Algar-Skaife, K. (2018) Creative Conversations – a new attitude change approach for care staff. Workshop at the13th UK Dementia Congress, Brighton, 6th-8th November 2018.
  • Algar-Skaife, K., Caulfield, M., Woods, B. (2018) cARTrefu: Creating artists in residents. A national arts in care homes participatory and mentoring programme. Oral presentation at Alzheimer Europe Conference 2018, Barcelona, 29th-31st October 2018.
  • Algar-Skaife, K., Windle, G., Killick, J., Pickering-Jones, L., Caulfield, M., Roberts, J. & Jelley, H. (2018) Creative Conversations: an arts-based dementia care staff development programme. Poster presentation at Alzheimer Europe Conference 2018, Barcelona, 29th-31st October 2018.
  • Algar-Skaife, K., Windle, G., Killick, J., Pickering-Jones, L., Caulfield, M., Roberts, J. & Jelley, H. (2018) 'Creative Conversations': An exploratory study of an arts in health approach to care staff development to embed person-centred care and improve communication between care staff and people living with dementia. Poster Presentation at 33rd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, Chicago, 26th – 29th July 2018.
  • Algar, K., Woods, R., Robinson, E. & Noyes, R. (2016) cARTrefu: creating artists in residents. Preliminary Results from Year 1. 26th Alzheimer Europe Conference, Copenhagen, 31st October 2016.
  • Algar, K, Woods, R., Windle, G. (2016) “I thought you’d be wasting your time, if I’m honest”: A qualitative exploration of the impact of a visual art programme for care home residents with dementia. Poster Presentation. 26th Alzheimer Europe Conference: “Excellence in dementia research and care”, Copenhagen, 31st October 2016.
  • Algar, K., Howson, T. ‘Inter-disciplinary methodologies for understanding the impact of creative activities’. British Society of Gerontology, University of Southampton, 3 September 2014.
  • Algar, K. (2012) Evaluating an arts programme in a care home. Part of a Symposium: Windle, G., Bird, M., Pavlicevic, M. & Wood, S. ‘Art and Dementia: Improving the evidence base’ November 2012, 7th UK Dementia Congress, Brighton.

Invited Masterclasses

  • Algar-Skaife, K. (2020) Managing a research project: Reflections on my first experience of being a PI. British Society of Gerontology Emerging Researchers in Ageing Annual Conference [Moved online due to COVID-19], 1 July 2020.
  • Windle, G. & Algar, K. (2017) Measuring well-being in arts and dementia research. Invited workshop at First International Research Conference on the Arts and Dementia: Theory, Methodology and Evidence, London, 9-10th March 2017.
  • Jones, C., Algar, K., Woods, R., Roberts, C. & Goodrick, J. (2016) INTERDEM masterclass: Involving people with dementia as advisors to your research. 26th Alzheimer Europe Conference: “Excellence in dementia research and care”, Copenhagen, 1st November 2016.

Invited Presentations / seminars

  • Algar-Skaife, K. (2019) The arts in dementia care. Invited presentation: Public Health Network Cymru: Creative Connections, Wrexham, 5th June 2019.
  • Algar-Skaife, K. (2018) Creative Conversations: Using the arts to enhance the skills of dementia care staff. Invited Presentation at Age Friendly Culture Event, Theatr Clwyd, 24th September 2018.
  • Peach, C. & Algar-Skaife, K. (2018) A care home manager’s experience of taking part in the ‘Creative Conversations’ research project. Invited presentation at ENRICH Cymru North Wales Launch, Llandudno Junction, 13th September 2018.
  • Algar-Skaife, K. (2019) Creative approaches to practice development. Invited presentation at Ageing and Dementia @ Bangor: New directions for research and teaching excellence, Bangor University, 15th January 2019.
  • Algar-Skaife, K. (2018) ‘Welsh Magic’: The arts in dementia care in Wales. Invited Presentation: Health and Wellbeing Lecture Series IX: Dementia. Pontio, Bangor University, 4th December 2018.
  • Algar-Skaife, K., Windle, G., Miles, D. (2018) Creative Conversations: The arts for enhancing the skills of care staff. Invited workshop at Wellcome Hub, Wellcome Collection, London. 11th January 2018.
  • Algar, K. (2014) Can a visual arts programme increase quality of life and well-being in care home residents with dementia? Results of an exploratory study, 23rd October 2014.  Jornada 20 años 20 acciones: “Programa CCCB Alzheimer”, Barcelona.
  • Algar, K. (2013) The creative arts and dementia care. January 2013, Dementia with Dignity Conference, Wrexham Social Services, 21 January 2013.