Spotlight: Older Persons Mental Health Research Nurse, Amie Zolanvar
I started working at the Academy in October 2022 as an Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) Research Nurse, having previously worked in the community Older Persons Mental Health team. Day-to-day I am involved in recruiting and supporting research studies, as well as building relationships with the local communities; enabling them to understand and access research.
As part of our community work the Academy created the "Care Home Research Partnership" initiative, where we work alongside local care homes in Portsmouth, Southampton and the surrounding areas, to offer residents the opportunity to take part in research. This partnership was created to try to improve access to research for underrepresented groups within the community, such as care home residents and staff, and to improve care standards.
Most recently we have created a partnership with the local Royal Navy Benevolent trust care facility that specialises in nursing and dementia care for veterans and their families. The home is relatively new, having been built in June 2022, and has large rooms and a cocktail bar, as well as a state-of-the-art interactive boat stimulator! I'm really excited to work alongside the team in this care home, and hopefully see the impact of having some of the veterans involved in research studies in the future.
Ensuring older people who are experiencing mental health concerns receive the care they need is incredibly important. Currently we are recruiting for carers of people living with dementia, and in order for new staff to gain the knowledge and understanding they need, we are offering a course to help support them on their caring journey.
Moving from front-line nursing into research has been a big change, however, I have already seen the benefits that good quality research can have on the population, and I'm so excited to be a part of the innovative steps in supporting carers in the future.