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Research at St Andrews

Arlene Jean Astell


Arlene Jean Astell
Postal address:
School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Westburn Lane
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 46

Research overview

My research is concerned with applying psychology to supporting people to live and age well. This includes the development and evaluation of novel interventions, including the creative application of technology, to early detection of change, maximizing spared abilities and minimizing impaired ones, and training caregivers about the impact of cognitive impairment on communication and relationships. Much of this work is multidisciplinary and over the past 10 years I have developed particular expertise in bringing together and managing cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional projects focused on supporting people to live and age as well as possible, including those with dementia and other conditions of ageing.

I am currently PI on the NANA (Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing; 2009-13) project funded by ESRC to develop a new holistic approach to capturing information about the diet, mood, physical and cogntive function of older adults. I also lead a collaboration between the NANA team and researchers at Toronto Rehab and the University of Toronto, funded by CIHR (2009-13) looking at improving recognition of dietary intake in older adults, including those with dementia. I am also PI of COBALT (Challenging Obstacles and Barriers to Assisted Living Technologies; 2011-13) funded by the Technology Strategy Board, which is a collaborative programme to increase understanding and interactions between older adults, health and social care staff and the ALT industry. I am also Co-Investigator on In-Touch (2011-13), funded by SIA, with researchers at Rotterdam Hogeschoole and several dementia care providers in the Netherlands to explore the potential of i-Pads for providing engaging and meaningful activities for people with moderate to severe dementia.

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