What is In Touch Program?

Pioneering Dementia Palliative Care

Horizon Europe Funds the In Touch Trial

On a leap year, the UCC School of Nursing and Midwifery marked a significant milestone by hosting a kickoff event for the prestigious €7.5m Horizon Europe Funding awarded to the groundbreaking In Touch Trial, under the direction of Professor Nicola Cornally. This initiative aims to enhance dementia palliative care. Renowned figures in the field, including Director of Namaste Care International, Rishi Jawaheer, and Dr. Hanneke Smaling, were invited to share insights on Namaste care that will be part of the overall intervention. The In-Touch project is poised to enhance care spanning 56 care homes across seven countries. Its primary objective is to mitigate social isolation by orchestrating tailored, group-based, multi-sensory Namaste activities for individuals with advanced dementia and their families. This project will extend the evidence from the  mySupport study and help families who experience uncertainty as the dementia progresses. It will provide an opportunity to discuss prognosis and fundamental aspects of care.

At its core, the In-Touch Consortium comprises 13 esteemed institutions, including University College Cork, Lancaster University, Charles University, Masaryk University, University of Turin, Radboud University, McMaster University, Queens University Belfast, Jagiellonian University, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, University of Ljublijana, CrowdHelix CHZ Ireland, and the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) Belgium. These collaborative partners convened for two dynamic days, meticulously planning the intervention and cluster randomized control trial. Their discussions were marked by fruitful exchanges of ideas and a collective commitment to executing this pioneering project with excellence. Dr. Irene Hartigan is leading the co-design and development of education across the seven implementation sites. Special guests included Person living with Dementia and Patient Public Involvement representative Helen Rochford Brennan, European Working Group of People with Dementia, Carmel Geoghegan, Dementia Ireland and Pam Halliday PPI representative from Canada on the mySupport study.

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