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PhD at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies

  • Project: Exploring and enhancing the wellbeing of direct care staff working with people with dementia in nursing homes in Singapore
  • Start date: September 2019
  • End date: September 2023
Jia Yen, PhD student at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies

My background

"I am an Occupational Therapist and practice in Singapore. I enjoy working with the older population and particularly people living with dementia. This may be due to my own early family influences as I grew up with my grandparents and witnessed how dementia affected my maternal grandmother.

"I have the privilege to work with families and people living with dementia during the hospital stay as well as those living at home. Their journey through dementia has always been a source of inspiration and learning, as well as a constant personal reflection to improve dementia care."

What was your motivation for pursuing a PhD and for researching your particular topic? 

"The completion of my Masters, focused on Occupational Therapy and falls, opened more doors for collaborating in clinical projects and research. One recent research grant I was involved in, made me understand how important the social environment and care culture are in influencing the care provided for people living in nursing homes.

"This research opportunity allowed me to step into the nursing homes and understand the care provision through the lens of the care staff. This experience increased my motivation to pursue a PhD as I felt that more could be done to improve person-centred dementia care and enhance nursing home staff experiences. The University of Bradford immediately came to mind as a renowned institution for its work in dementia care."

Aims of my study

"The study aim of this study is to understand the experiences and wellbeing of direct care staff caring for people with dementia in nursing homes in Singapore and explore what can be done to better support this population."

What impact do you hope your study will have?

"I hope that my study will lend a voice to care staff who are working relentlessly at the nursing homes while caring for people living with dementia.

"By exploring their current working experiences and getting them to suggest ways to enhance their wellbeing can be a starting point for service providers, researchers, and social care policymakers to focus on this under-recognised group of care staff.

"The study can improve the social care workforce wellbeing and ultimately impact on the lives of people living with dementia in nursing homes."