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DSDC Staff

image of Katherine Algar

Katherine Algar-Skaife

DSDC Research Officer

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

Twitter: @kat_algar

 

Research Interests:

Kat graduated from Bangor University in 2007 with a BSc in Psychology with Clinical and Health Psychology. She continued at Bangor for an MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology. Her Masters’ thesis was Memory Awareness in Older Adults where she looked at awareness of memory ability in healthy older adults and people with dementia.

Kat joined the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) Wales in 2009 and during her time talking to both carers and people with dementia she has gained an understanding for the need for services for people with dementia, and the need to educate others about dementia to reduce the stigma.

Kat is passionate about improving the quality of life and well-being for people living with dementia. In particular she has developed a keen interest in the benefits of the arts for people living with dementia and in 2011 started her NISCHR-funded PhD: "Can an arts programme increase the wellbeing and quality of life of people with dementia living in a care home: An exploratory study". She successfully defended her thesis in July 2015 and continues to present her work at conferences.

Kat is a Dementia Friends Champion so is happy to lead Dementia Friends (dementia awareness information sessions) sessions on request across North Wales. [https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/]

 

Kat currently works on the following projects:

  • Creative Conversations: an arts-in-health-approach to communication: This project, funded by Health and Care Research Wales, aims to develop and test a series of ‘Creative Conversations’ sessions for care staff working with people with dementia. It uses examples from creative arts (e.g. poetry, music, & films) as a way of helping staff understand more about how people living with dementia feel and to suggest new ways of communication. The project is a partnership between DSDC Wales, Flintshire Social Services, and Dementia Positive. Kat is Principle Investigator.
  • Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR): Kat is Bangor Coordinator for CADR  and a member of CADR Operational Group. Kat assists Professor Bob Woods and Dr Gill Windle on their work packages: Creativity and Ageing: the role of creativity in health and social care practices and Developing and evaluating interventions in dementia care.
  • Join Dementia Research: Join Dementia Research (JDR) is an online platform to match up volunteers interested in taking part in dementia research with researchers looking for potential participants. Anyone, with or without dementia, over the age of 18 can register as a volunteer or sign-up for someone else as long as they have given their consent. Registration can be via the website, via the telephone helplines, or using a paper registration form; and volunteers can choose which studies they would like to hear more about. Kat coordinates JDR for Wales, which includes promoting it at conferences and providing training to researchers wishing to use it. (http://news.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk/wales-launch-ground-breaking-dementia-research-service/ )
  • cARTrefu – arts in care settings: Kat led an independent evaluation of this project delivered by Age Cymru and funded jointly by the Arts Council of Wales and Baring Foundation. The aims of the project were to increase opportunities for residents and staff to participate in the arts and to develop and mentor artists to deliver sessions for older people in care settings.  The project aimed to improve the quality of care home residents’ experience of participatory arts activities and to their well-being in general.  Another wish was that care home staff acquire new skills and the confidence to share them, and that the artist practitioners develop their professional practice. The evaluation therefore explored the impact of the art residencies on all involved. The final report is being launched at the Senedd in October 2017.
  • 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: Kat is on the supervisory team on this KESS-funded PhD study which is a partnership between DSDC Wales, Fairways Care Ltd, and the Drapers Company.
 

Grants:

‘Creative Conversation’: 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.

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

 

Publications:

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., Woods, R., Robinson, E., Noyes, R. (2017) cARTrefu: creating artists in residents. British Society of Gerontology Conference 2017, Swansea, United Kingdom, 5th July 2017.

Algar, K., Woods, R., Robinson, E. & Noyes, R. (2016) cARTrefu: creating artists in residents. Preliminary Results from Year 1. 26th Alzheimer Europe Conference: “Excellence in dementia research and care”, 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.

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.

Algar, K. & Mutka, E-M (2016) cARTrefu – arts in care settings. Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR) Annual Conference, 5th October 2016.

Algar, K. (2015) Can a visual arts programme increase quality of life and well-being in care home residents with dementia? An exploratory study. Living well with dementia through the arts: Celebrating creativity for people living with dementia in North Wales, Bangor, 21st April 2015.

Algar, K. (2015) “I thought you’d be wasting your time, if I’m honest”: A qualitative exploration of the impact of a visual arts programme for care home residents with dementia.  Part of a symposium: Newman, A., Jones, C.H., Algar, K., Howson, T. ‘Challenges of the research process: reflections on the progression of research in visual art groups for people living with dementia and those who care for them’.  British Society of Gerontology, Newcastle, 2 July 2015.

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. (2014) Can a visual arts programme increase quality of life and well-being in care home residents with dementia? Results of an exploratory study.  Part of a symposium: Windle, G., Newman, A., Goulding, A., 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. (2013) The creative arts and dementia care. January 2013, Dementia with Dignity Conference, Wrexham Social Services, 21 January 2013.

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.

Algar, K. (2012) Can an arts programme increase quality of life and well-being of care home residents with dementia? An exploratory study.  27 January 2012, RESEC Conference, Menai Bridge.

 

 

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