Western Mail

Extra funding for dementia-abuse research


A RESEARCH project examining the link between dementia and domestic abuse in older people has been awarded additional funding by Comic Relief and the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) through the Tampon Tax Fund.

The study by the Centre for Age, Gender and Social Justice at Aberystwyt­h University’s Department of Law and Criminolog­y was originally launched in August 2019 with funding of £70,000 from Comic Relief.

Comic Relief has now awarded a further £76,000 enabling new research on ‘Developing Legal Guidance & Social Networks when Domestic Abuse and Dementia co-exist’ to continue for nine months.

Initial findings from the first study suggest that older people living with dementia and domestic violence are often isolated from social and profession­al support networks because their perpetrato­rs are worried about public exposure or prosecutio­n.

Researcher­s say action is needed to ensure victim-survivors continue to have access to support.

Sarah Wydall, principal investigat­or on the Dewis Choice project at Aberystwyt­h University, said: “For a victim-survivor experienci­ng a diagnosis of dementia, there is limited evidence of joint profession­al working to provide support for both the domestic abuse and the dementia even though a coordinate­d response is recognised as the safest way to support the complexity of domestic violence and abuse. This is problemati­c as appointmen­ts and communicat­ion frequently involve a family member who is often the perpetrato­r acting as carer.”

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