Older women living with dementia could benefit from a groundbreaking research programme being conducted by the University of Hertfordshire and Juntendo University, Japan.
The Economic and Social Research Council has awarded £36,000 to the project, which will focus on understanding the benefits and constrains of physical activity-based programmes for older women, particularly those living with dementia.
Although there has been research into the benefits of sport and physical activity on younger people and older men living with dementia, crucially there has been little research into the effects on the health of older women, according to the University of Hertfordshire.
The study is especially critical given that worldwide, women with dementia outnumber men two to one, according to Alzheimer’s Society.
The cash injection will allow researchers work in partnership with fitness clubs offering bespoke physical activity sessions for older women and sports organisations offering reminiscence projects for older people living with dementia and their carers.
Project lead, Professor Elizabeth Pike, head of Sport, Health and Exercise at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “There is a growing body of evidence of the benefits of sporting reminiscence projects for older men living with dementia but very little attention has been given to the benefits of these projects for older women. This is despite the fact that women have a longer life expectancy than men do and the overall evidence of the positive physical, mental and social impact of sport on the elderly.”
The project will run from now until July 2020.