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DSDC Staff

image of Katherine Algar

Katherine Algar-Skaife

DSDC Research Officer

Tel: 01248 382226

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.

She has developed a keen interest in the benefits of the arts for people living with dementia. She was involved from the outset in a visual arts project in Gwynedd led by Engage Cymru and assisted the DSDC to deliver training to gallery staff and the project artist. She also carried out a service evaluation for the Lost in Art too project run by Denbighshire County Council. She developed the methodology and assisted with the literature review to underpin a proposal for her 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. She organised a conference “Living well with Dementia through the Arts: Celebrating creativity for people living with dementia in North Wales” in April 2015 to share her results and showcase local projects.

Kat currently works on the following projects:

  • Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR): As a member of the 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. ( )

  • cARTrefu – arts in care settings: Kat is leading an independent evaluation of this project being delivered by Age Cymru and funded jointly by the Arts Council of Wales and Baring Foundation. The aims of the project are 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 aims to improve the quality of care home residents’ experience of participatory arts activities and to their well-being in general.  Another wish is that care home staff acquire new skills and the confidence to share them, and that the artist practitioners develop their professional practice. The evaluation will therefore explore the impact of the art residencies on all involved.

  • Evaluation of the Dementia RED Information Centre Point Service: Kat is leading an evaluation of the Dementia RED service being led by the Alzheimer’s Society in GP surgeries across North Wales.

  • RIghts, CHoice, and Personalised Care in Advanced Dementia (RICH Care in Advanced Dementia): a project recently funded by Alzheimer’s Society which aims to investigate quality of life and wellbeing of people with advanced dementia and explore how a person’s rights, choice and personalised care can continue to be achieved in situations where the person is completely dependent upon others for care, and may no longer be able to verbally communicate their ideas. The results will inform a rights-based charter for people with advanced dementia as well as Alzheimer’s Society policy in 2017.


Alzheimer’s Society policy project: the quality of life of people with advanced dementia. Alzheimer’s Society, £49,872, May 2016 – May 2017 (Co-applicant)

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



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.



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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