Cartoons play crucial role in Lancaster University dementia study

A Private Eye cartoonist is using his sketches to help dementia patients in partnership with a research team from Lancaster University.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 12:19 pm
Rita Brady from Halton and Pam Begg from Morecambe with Tony Husband.

Tony Husband became involved following the death of his father from the condition, which prompted him to publish a book of cartoons based on his experiences called ‘Take Care, Son: The Story of My Dad and his Dementia’.

This is the first study where researchers, led by Dr Siobhan Reilly from the university’s division of health research, have worked with people living with dementia to prioritise what, they say, are the most important areas of life and apply these to health and social care research.

At the same time as Tony’s book was published in 2014, Dr Reilly was starting two studies within the neighbourhoods and dementia programme, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the National Institute of Health Research.

Dr Reilly met with Tony, whose cartoons have appeared in many newspapers, magazines, books and websites, to see if there was a way of incorporating his artistic talents to document the study, which aims to identify what matters most to people living with dementia.

Dr Reilly said: “Back in 2014 we didn’t know what the results of the study would be but we knew that bringing Tony on board to bring the study alive for the public would be a great idea – little did we know how integral his cartoons would become to the study. The response has been amazing.”

His cartoons have been used to capture the essence of what people with dementia were saying using humour.