Retired nurse Joyce signed up to Join Dementia Research when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, aged 75.

Having worked as a healthcare professional, she’s always had an interest in research and an appetite for being involved herself.

Professional insight

Joyce as a nurse

Joyce as a nurse

During her nursing days, Joyce was trained in how to identify potential symptoms of dementia and how to care for those with a diagnosis. She shared this knowledge with her team, emphasising the importance of leg and arm exercises and the power of music and singing.

She recalls: “All those years ago, we knew about the beneficial impact of music on those with dementia, patients in day care centres may have been unaware of what was going on around them, but they could sing war songs word-perfect.”

Taking part in studies

When she was diagnosed, she knew she wanted to be involved in dementia research. Over the past five years, Joyce has been matched to a number of studies including: a drug study, the trial of a new clinical test to diagnose dementia, and the SENSE-Cog study which looks at the combined impact of age-related hearing, vision and cognitive problems.

The SENSE-Cog study was particularly beneficial for Joyce because her sight and hearing were assessed by professionals at her home and she received some very effective hearing aids which have really enhanced her quality of life.

She explains: “The lady came to my house and asked a series of questions as well as doing the tests. Once I was given the new hearing aids, I was taught how to look after them and what to do when the batteries need replacing. I had three further home visits just to check I was adjusting ok and my hearing is now so much clearer.”

Deciding to become a volunteer

Volunteer JoyceOn signing up to the service, Joyce says: “It was really easy to register, after I had been diagnosed, I phoned Join Dementia Research and have been matched to a number of studies since then.

“Receiving a diagnosis is difficult, but by being involved in research, I feel as though I am doing something positive by contributing to our understanding of this disease. The only way we can beat dementia is through research and I would urge others to join me in doing what they can to help.”

Signing up

Anyone over 18 can sign up to Join Dementia Research, you don’t need to have a dementia diagnosis. You will be asked a few basic questions, it only takes a few minutes to complete. Why not join our thousands of volunteers and sign up today.