Sweden’s King and Queen visit university Dementia centre

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The King and Queen of Sweden visited Stirling University yesterday to learn about its world-leading dementia research.

On arrival at the campus, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were welcomed by Alan Simpson OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Stirling and Falkirk, and the University’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Gerry McCormac.

The Swedish Royal’s then went on to meet with researchers based at the Dementia Services Development Centre in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the university. 

During the royal visit, the King and Queen toured the centres Dementia-friendly Demonstration Suites.

The suites are a permanent display of rooms and equipment which is adapted to help support the particular needs of people living with dementia.

Image credit: University of Stirling

During the tour, the Swedish King and Queen also learned about the history of the unique research facility. 

The Swedish Royal family already have an existing interest in dementia.

Queen Silvia founded “Silviahemmet”, a charity foundation which offers training programmes and also care, to help those living with dementia and their families.

On top of that, the charity is also supporting a major research project.

The research project is being led by Professor Alison Bowes at Stirling. 

The project is aiming to develop housing innovations that can help better the support of individuals living with cognitive conditions like dementia, in order to help them stay in their own homes for longer.

Commenting on the King and Queens visit, Professor Alison Bowes, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Principal Investigator for the DesHCA project, said: “It is an honour to host the King and Queen today and demonstrate the breadth and importance of the research carried out here. 

“Dementia is a condition which touches everyone. Approximately 10 million new cases are diagnosed every year, and with populations ageing across the world, there’s a growing demand for new care technologies, new housing models and innovations to help people remain independent for longer.  

“Collaborations such as our project with Silviahemmet and our other partners, bring together research, industry and practice, to ensure these solutions are delivered and make a difference to people across the world.” 

Image credit: University of Stirling

The project, Designing Homes for Cognitive Ageing (DesHCA) is funded by ESRC under the Healthy Ageing Challenge Programme.

The programme brings together Scotland’s experts on dementia and dementia design, also the building industry, housing providers, architects, and those living with dementia along with their families.

It aims to create designs for future-proof housing which will meet the needs of the world’s ageing population.

Commenting on the Swedish Royals visit the University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Gerry McCormac said: “We were delighted to welcome Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden to the University campus today.”

He continued to say: “This was an important opportunity to showcase the world-leading, transformative and life-changing research led by the University and to acknowledge the King and Queen’s support for this work.” 

Feature image credit: Stirling University

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