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Assistive technology / dementia research project: Local authority ‘hosts’ needed

19 June 2014

 Assistive technology / dementia research project: Local authority ‘hosts’ needed Research in Practice for Adults wanted to draw attention to an interesting project (Assistive Technology and Telecare to Maintain Independent Living At Home for People with Dementia 'ATTILA'), which requires local authority ‘hosts’. Dr John Woolham, Senior Research Fellow at Coventry University, writes:

It is claimed telecare can support independence, reduce burden on unpaid care-givers and save money by reducing the need for social care, unnecessary hospitalisation, and premature admission into residential care. These arguments resonate strongly in the context of austerity, rising numbers of older people - and people with dementia - and pressures on councils to save money and meet rising demand in England.

However, evidence to support these claims is limited. Early studies produced positive results but based on small scale evaluations of projects not mainstream services and were methodologically flawed.  Current evidence for the benefits of telecare for people with dementia is insufficient to support government policies or the investment made in telecare by many councils.

The ATTILA trial compares outcomes of people with dementia who receive telecare with people who receive equivalent services in a community setting but not telecare, to see if it reduces admissions to institutional care, to finally settle this issue. 

We are currently recruiting people with dementia to our trial in several councils in England. We’re keen to work with additional councils who would be willing to act as ‘hosts’ and help us recruit people with dementia. No data collection is involved. In return, we can offer a site-specific report based on local findings. 

A more detailed description of the study is available online here.

If your council might be interested in taking part, please contact:

Robert Howard, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry Institute of Psychiatry (href="mailto:robert.j.howard@kcl.ac.uk">robert.j.howard@kcl.ac.uk)

 Rebecca Gathercole, Trial Manager (rebecca.gathercole@kcl.ac.uk).

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