The Yorkshire and Humber Community Ageing Research 75+ Study (CARE75+) involves the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR), based at BRI, and is looking to understand why some people remain fit and resilient in older age while others develop health problems and frailty.
Project Lead, Professor John Young of the BIHR told me: “Frailty is a medical term used to describe a decline in a person’s body. People with frailty often have weak muscles, walk slowly and get exhausted very easily. Some people are better able to cope with these changes but we don’t know why.
“It’s important for all of us to think about how we can maintain good health in older age and this research will support people in healthy ageing.”
Project Manager, Anne Heaven added: “If people hear the word frailty, they think it’s the beginning of the end but this need not be the case. This study is particularly exciting and valuable because this is not usually an age group that is recruited from for research.
“The benefits for those taking part include earlier detection of unmet needs through assessments, and the results will ultimately lead to developing more appropriate health and social care services for older people in the future.”
The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) Yorkshire and Humber programme, and its Chief Investigator is Dr Andy Clegg, who is a Consultant Geriatrician on Ward 3 at Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Andy explained: “Many older people remain fit and independent into older age, but some can develop frailty and need help with day to day activities. The CARE 75+ study will help us find out how best to maintain health, independence and wellbeing in older age.
“We are extremely grateful to all the older residents of Bradford and the surrounding area who have joined the study, and for the way that they have welcomed our research team into their homes. The success of the study is also a tribute to our fantastic research team, and many of our study participants have commented on their kind and caring manner.”
The first recruits joined the study back in December 2014 and because the 200th patient has just been recruited, this means the pilot target has been met; the study aims to recruit up to 1,000 older people nationwide and follow them for up to four years, collecting information on a whole range of issues that could affect their health and wellbeing.
Patients are currently recruited from GP practices across five different sites – Tong, Manningham, Saltaire, Shipley and Rawdon. So far, slightly more women – 57 per cent – are taking part.
The study involves looking at the medications patients are taking and home visits by researchers who carry out a number of assessments and tests including memory and cognition and physical activity and mobility. Patients are also asked about factors that affect their health such as loneliness and pain.
To date two sub studies have also begun: NANA – Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing, and SoReLL – Study of Resourcefulness in Later Life.
There have been lots of positive comments from those involved with the study – both from researchers and recruits – and that around 70 participants were invited to a ‘celebration’ afternoon tea in the splendour of the French ballroom of the Midland Hotel in Bradford to thank them for their contribution so far.
Professor John Young, with two of the participants
Excitingly, the study has now commissioned a series of portraits of participants from renowned photographer Ian Beesley.
#CELEBRATING COMMUNITY AGEING RESEARCH 75+ STUDY #CARE75+ #PPI @BIHRESEARCH @BTHFT
To celebrate the on-going success of the Community Ageing Research Study 75+ (CARE75+) and to thank all of our participants and GP staff for their continued support – we arranged an afternoon of exhibitions and lunch at the Carlisle Business Centre in Bradford on Tuesday 4th of October.
Find out more about the project here: http://clahrc-yh.nihr.ac.uk/our-themes/primary-care-based-management-of-frailty-in-older-people/projects/the-yorkshire-humber-community-ageing-research-care-study
This event was an opportunity for people to meet participants in their area along with the wider research team. There was also an opportunity to feedback any comments or questions about the research and its future direction. And, see and hear about the work everyone is involved in.
Dr Andy Clegg with two of our participants
Along with an exhibition of photographs of study participants by Ian Beesley, conference posters and drawings produced from the CARE75+ cohort and sub-studies were on display. And we heard from one of the cohort sub-studies about how individuals develop and maintain resourcefulness in later life. We also received some useful participant input into shaping a new proposal around the self-management of pain.
71 people attended the Event. The afternoon was enjoyed by both participants and research staff (old and new) and we are hoping to make it an annual celebration.
“The Celebration Event was a great success. It brought old and new friends together to share experiences of the CARE 75+ research project and discuss new ideas for next steps.” Professor John Young (Theme Lead)
“Many thanks for inviting us to another lovely event last Tuesday. My Dad really enjoyed it, especially winning his wonderful fruit basket in the raffle. It was also really interesting to get the feedback.”(Daughter of a study participant).
The CARE75+, funded by the NIHR Yorkshire and Humber Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC) is now in its second year of recruitment and has recently rolled out to other sites in the North East, West Midlands and South West.
Dr Andy Clegg, CARE 75+ study lead and consultant geriatrician on ward 3 at BRI, said: “The 2016 CARE 75+ celebration event was a resounding success! It was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet with our study participants, family members and friends, and get to know them better. It also gave us the opportunity to share the knowledge we have gained through the CARE 75+ study with study participants, and discuss innovative ideas that have been developed to help improve care and services for current and future generations of older people in Bradford, across Yorkshire, and nationally.”
Our Themes > Primary care-based management of frailty in older people > 4. Projects & PPI > 2. The Yorkshire & Humber Community Ageing Research (CARE 75+) Study >