Royal couple given tour of university’s dementia research centre

The king and queen of Sweden have visited the University of Stirling to learn about its dementia research.

The royal couple met researchers based at the Dementia Services Development Centre in the Faculty of Social Sciences during their visit on Monday.

They were given a tour of the centre’s dementia-friendly demonstration suites – a permanent display of rooms and equipment adapted to support the particular needs of people living with dementia – and learned about the history of the research facility.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were greeted by Alan Simpson, Lord-Lieutenant of Stirling and Falkirk (pictured), and the university’s principal and vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Gerry McCormac.

Sir Gerry said: “We were delighted to welcome their majesties the King and Queen of Sweden to the university campus today.

“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.”

Queen Silvia founded the charity foundation Silviahemmet, which offers training programmes and care for those living with dementia and their families.

Silviahemmet is also supporting a major research project, Designing Homes for Healthy Cognitive Ageing (DesHCA), led by Professor Alison Bowes at Stirling, to develop housing innovations that can better support people living with cognitive conditions, such as dementia, to stay in their own homes for longer.

Professor 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.”

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