A new online matching service-the StepUp for Dementia Research program-is expected to revolutionise the way people with dementia and researchers connect, fast-tracking more effective and inclusive dementia research across Australia.
StepUp for Dementia Research is an online, postal and telephone service that connects people interested in participating in dementia research with researchers conducting studies into dementia prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and cure.
Anyone in Australia aged 18 and over, with or without dementia, can sign up for StepUp for Dementia Research. Once registered, volunteers will be matched to studies based on their characteristics such as age, location and diagnosis.
Dementia is the second highest cause of death in Australia and researchers say one of their biggest challenges is finding and keeping research participants.
“The stigma around dementia means it can be hard to recruit participants, particularly those in the early stages who are likely to benefit most from our research but are often reluctant to talk about their symptoms or diagnosis,” Professor Yun-Hee Jeon, Susan and Isaac Wakil Professor of Healthy Ageing at the University of Sydney who leads the StepUp for Dementia Research initiative said.
How can the general public get involved?
People over 18 – both with and without dementia - can register their interest in participating in research via the secure StepUp for Dementia Research website. They will then be connected with any studies they may be eligible for. A telephone (1800-7837-123) and postal service are also available.
[The full interview with Professor Yun-Hee Jeon is available on the podcast above]
Professor Yun-Hee Jeon, Susan and Isaac Wakil Professor of Healthy Ageing at the University of Sydney, is a registered nurse, academic and leading Australian researcher in psychogeriatrics and gerontology. Her research focuses on developing innovative and creative approaches to improving the health and wellbeing of older people with dementia, depression or other chronic illnesses.
Source: The University of Sydney website