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Improving Wellbeing and Health for People with Dementia

Aims of WHELD

Improving Wellbeing and Health for People with Dementia (WHELD) is a 5 year NIHR funded programme which aims to develop and evaluate an intervention based upon the most effective, currently available therapies. The intended outcome of the intervention is to provide a broad range of benefits to people with dementia living in care homes.  Specifically, WHELD aims to;

  • Improve mental health & quality of life
  • Improve the quality of prescription of antipsychotic drugs
  • Reduce agitation for people with dementia in care homes

The WHELD study has developed a training programme for care for care home staff, based on person-centred care and a range of non-drug approaches such as social interaction.

How has WHELD made a difference?

Care home staff who participated in the WHELD programme reveal what a difference it made to the well-being of the people they cared for, and the way it gave a new richness to their work:


Click here, and scroll down, to listen to what care home staff had to say about taking part in the research project.

What has WHELD achieved

  1. Three systematic reviews;
  • To identify the existing evidence for effective psychosocial treatments for people with dementia who experience behavioural and psychiatric symptoms of dementia
  • To understand what factors influence staff working in care homes in using psychological and social interventions in practice
  • To identify training materials which are evidence based and effective in improving outcomes for people with dementia in care homes
  1. Adaptation of the most effective approaches to make an optimised intervention applicable to UK care home settings
  2. Completion of two randomised control trials to evaluate the WHELD intervention, the first with 277 people and 16 homes and the second with over a thousand people and 69 homes.

What are the next steps for WHELD?

Ongoing dissemination of the WHELD intervention through a programme of workshops, written communications and road-shows with health professionals, care professionals and commissioners to promote widespread use of the intervention.

Further information

For further information or to receive the WHELD newsletter please contact the WHELD team.

This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (grant: RPPG-0608-10133). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. NIHR | National Institute for Health Research

Last updated: 14 August, 2017

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