The focus of COGWORKS will be on maximising cognitive health and capacity in later life. The knowledge generated will be world leading, but will also contribute significantly to policy and practice, and ultimately to the quality of life of older people. The Network will work with different institutions and with representatives of civil society, including groups such as people with learning disability, people with dementia, and carers. This commitment to partnership working will ensure capacity building across all sectors. The emphasis throughout will be to drive discussion in the direction of opportunities offered via dementia-friendly design of the built environment, efficient social support/awareness, and the role of embedded Information and Communication Technologies, that enhance wellbeing and independence in later life. By working in partnership with older people, practitioners and policy makers the proposed research strategy will therefore inform effective and efficient use of public resources.
One failure to address the well described demographic shifts in our society will be significantly increased numbers of persons with dementia – an appalling disorder with large associated personal and health economic costs. The beneficiaries of the proposed research strategy developed by the Network will be older people, their families as well as healthcare expenditure. The knowledge generated by the research will inform a wide range of disciplines including inter alia medical doctors, occupational therapists, psychologists, sociologists, architects, interior designers, and so on. Policy makers and housing managers will benefit from policy guidance that will assist them in improving care through an increased access to the users.
Dissemination of information related to the Network’s activities and findings would be linked into the wider national networks such as the UK Age Research Forum (UKARF) and the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) as highlighted earlier. The MRC LLHW and the ESRC's communications toolkit and the NDA projects, amongst others, will be used to expand the dissemination of the Network. The Network activities will also be presented at targeted international academic and non-academic conferences and meetings. The dissemination strategy for the outputs of the network will be achieved through a variety of media: academic publications; newsletter; website; and conferences and seminars. COGWORKS will build on the research dissemination activities of our partners in Cap and will act as a catalyst to move this work forward by using the Internet to broadcast seminars and facilitate discussion.