I am a Research Fellow at the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute. My research centres around ageing, with a particular focus on dementia.
I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Nottingham in 2009. My PhD focused on understanding perspectives and knowledge of cognitive impairment in later life across a range of populations. I am a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
I am passionate about understanding the lived experiences of older adults facing a range of conditions, particularly those living with dementia and their families, and exploring ways to enhance the care and support available to these individuals. My work over the last decade has focused extensively on improving the quality of life for people living with cognitive impairment and dementia and their families, and exploring what people know and understand about cognitive impairment.
I have a keen interest in the health and social care system and workforce and believe that improving training and conditions for staff is key to ensuring that the workforce are able to continue to deliver outstanding care and to maintain their own wellbeing in what can often be a challenging and stressful work environment.
Teaching and supervision
I supervise PhD students and deliver expert lectures on ethics, working with vulnerable populations, and my work within the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute.
I am also a Certified NVivo Expert, able to provide expert training on the use of NVivo in research.
Current PhD students:
- Callum Tierney: 'Improving experiences of transgender patients in community pharmacies in the North East of England'.
- Mauro Amatosi: 'The impact of social prescribing link worker model on General Practice' (In collaboration with Sunderland GP Alliance).
Research interests for potential research students
My core research interests are centred around dementia and cognitive impairment, experiences and support for informal/family carers, workforce development in older adult care, successful ageing, community support and engagement, the role of arts in supporting families affected by dementia, reducing stigma, and online training and resources for people living with dementia and their families.
My research interests are centred around ageing, including:
- The experiences of people living with cognitive impairment and dementia
- The experiences of informal/family carers of people living with cognitive impairment and dementia
- Care and support of people living with dementia and cognitive impairment and their families
- Care pathways for people living with dementia
- Identifying how to best provide timely and accessible support for people living with dementia and their families
- The role and experiences of care home staff working with older adults
- Workforce training and upskilling in care homes and health care settings
- Experiences, management and prevention of frailty
- Risk factors and possible preventative strategies for dementia and cognitive impairment
- Perceptions of successful ageing
- Societal perceptions of dementia and cognitive impairment
- Reducing stigma surrounding dementia and ageing
- Community support for older people, including people living with dementia
- The role of arts in supporting older people, including people living with dementia
- Sensory impairment
My current research projects include:
- A multi-perspective evaluation of the Admiral Nurse Service in South Tyneside
- An exploration of the barriers and facilitators to online engagement with support for informal carers (NIHR ARC Funded)
- Evaluation of Type 2 Diabetes education course for people with a learning disability
- Evaluation of Community Voice
- An exploration of the impact of a unique integrated approach to vision services from a multi-stakeholder perspective
Previous projects include:
- An exploration of the impact of lived experience counselling on suicide rates and self-harm among people experiencing sight loss
- Evaluation of "A Future You: Positive planning for ageing well"
Yemm, Heather, Peel, Elizabeth and Brooker, Dawn (2023) “I guess you can interpret it in a number of ways like kind of a milder or the mildest form of dementia?”: multi-stakeholder perceptions of cognitive impairment. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. ISSN 1471-3012
Yemm, Heather, Peel, Elizabeth and Brooker, Dawn (2022) Understandings of mild cognitive impairment (MCI): a survey study of public and professional perspectives. Working with Older People. ISSN 1366-3666
Graham, Yitka, Hayes, Catherine, Cox, Julie, Mahawar, Kamal, Fox, Ann and Yemm, Heather (2022) A systematic review of obesity as a barrier to accessing cancer screening services. Obesity Science and Practice. ISSN 2055-2238
Yemm, Heather, Robinson, Dame Louise, Paddick, Stella-Maria, Dotchin, Catherine, Goodson, Michaela Louise, Narytnyk, Alla, Poole, Marie and Mc Ardle, Ríona (2021) Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scales to Detect Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. pp. 1-24. ISSN 1875-8908
Yemm, Heather, Robinson, Louise, Paddick, Stella-Maria, Dotchin, Catherine, Goodson, Michaela, Narytnyk, Alla, Poole, Marie and McArdle, Riona (2021) Instrumental activities of daily living scales to detect cognitive impairment and dementia in low- and middle income countries: a systematic review. Journal of Alzheimers Disease. ISSN 1387-2877
Yemm, Heather (2018) Engaging and communicating with people who have dementia: Finding and using their strengths by E. Eisner [Book Review]. Dementia, 15 (2). ISSN 1471-3012
Yemm, Heather (2015) Personalisation and Dementia: A Guide for Person-Centred Practice [Book review]. Dementia, 15 (1). pp. 143-144. ISSN 1471-3012
Reports, briefing/ working papers
Brooker, Dawn, Milosevic, Sarah and Yemm, Heather (2015) Guidance for NHS continuing healthcare assessors: Evaluating emotional and psychological needs for people in the later stages of dementia. Documentation. Alzheimer’s Society.
Conference or Workshop Item
Yemm, Heather (2018) Development of a Massive Open Online Course for carers of people living with dementia on care and comfort towards and at the end of life: Potential for global reach. In: 13th UK Dementia Congress, 6-8 Nov 2018, Brighton, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2018) Knowledge and understanding of cognitive impairment: A survey study. In: 13th UK Dementia Congress, 6-8 Nov 2018, Brighton, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2015) Knowledge and understanding of ‘mild cognitive impairment’: a systematic review and thematic synthesis. In: BPS Research Seminar Series, Beyond Boundaries: Exploring Psychologies of Ageing, 6 Nov 2015, Birmingham, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2015) Knowledge and understanding of ‘mild cognitive impairment’: A systematic review and thematic synthesis. In: University of Worcester Postgraduate Conference, 26 Jul 2015, Worcester, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2015) What can research tell us about living well with dementia? In: Public Health Excellence Conference, 6 Mar 2015, Birmingham, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2013) Facing the future: A systematic review of predictive tests for progression from cognitive impairment to dementia. In: 8th UK Dementia Congress, 5-7 Nov 2013, Nottingham, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2013) The ethics of conducting research with people experiencing cognitive impairment and dementia. In: University of Worcester Postgraduate Conference, 28 Jun 2013, Worcester, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2012) Identifying cognitive predictors of progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia: A project overview. In: University of Worcester Postgraduate Conference, 15 Jun 2012, Worcester, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2012) Mild cognitive impairment: A research opportunity. In: West Midlands Memory Clinic Network Meeting, 16 Jan 2012, Wolverhampton, UK.
Yemm, Heather (2011) 'I can’t believe the support you’ve got here': Experiences of an Early Intervention Dementia Service. The perspectives of people living in Worcestershire and their families. In: 6th UK Dementia Congress, 02 Nov 2011, Liverpool, UK.
- Cognitive impairment
- Care and support services for people living with dementia and their family members
- Pre- and post-diagnostic support for cognitive concerns
- Education and training for informal carers
- Arts in healthcare and support
- Ethics (particularly with regards to research involving adults lacking capacity to consent)
- Qualitative research
- Qualitative data analysis utilising NVivo
- Survey design and conduct
I am a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
To learn more about my research, please follow me on Twitter at @HeatherYemm.
- Review Editor, Frontiers in Public Health
- Member of Bromley Research Ethics Committee
- Sunderland Ageing Well Ambassador
- Journal of Medical Internet Research
- Obesity Reviews
- UKRI Talent Peer Review College
- ARUK North Network Committee