Dr Kat Algar-Skaife
DSDC Wales, Bangor University, 01248 382226
Dr Katherine (Kat) Algar-Skaife graduated from Bangor University in 2007 with a BSc in Psychology with Clinical and Health Psychology. She continued at Bangor for an MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology. Kat joined the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) Wales in 2009 and during her time talking to both carers and people with dementia she has gained an understanding for the need of better services for people living with dementia, and the need to educate others about dementia to reduce the stigma. She has developed a keen interest in the benefits of the arts for people living with dementia and in 2011 started her NISCHER-funded PhD: "Can an arts programme increase the wellbeing and quality of life of people with dementia living in a care home: An exploratory study". She successfully defended her thesis in July 2015 and continues to present her work at conferences.
Kat is currently the Bangor Coordinator for the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR) and a member of the CADR Operational Group and assists Professor Bob Woods and Dr Gill Windle on their work packages. Kat is also the National Coordinator for Wales for Join Dementia Research (JDR), an online platform to match up volunteers interested in taking part in dementia research with researchers looking for potential participants. Kat is leading the evaluation of cARTrefu – arts in care settings, a 2-year project being delivered by Age Cymru, which aims to increase opportunities for residents and staff to participate in the arts and to develop and mentor artists to deliver sessions for older people in care settings. The project is now coming to an end and the evaluation report is due to be launched at the Senedd later in the year. Kat is also the supervisor for a PhD project exploring the rights and quality of life of people living with advanced dementia - "Recognising the challenge, responding to need and mapping a way forward: developing an environment to safeguard the quality of life (QOL) and wellbeing of people with advanced dementia in the care home sector".
Kat was recently awarded her first large grant "Creative Conversations: An exploratory study of an arts in health approach to embedding person-centred care and improving communication between care staff and people living with dementia" (Health and Care Research Wales Social Care Award) which is a partnership between Bangor University, Flintshire Social Services and Dementia Positive. The project aims to develop a novel approach to care staff development using the creative arts.
Kat is a Dementia Friends Champion so can offer Dementia Friends sessions across North Wales.