Laura has a background in psychology and worked with older people with cognitive problems and dementia for fourteen years in various clinical, care and research settings; and joined the Unit in 2016. Prior to her academic posts, she worked in a memory clinic as a research psychologist completing neuropsychological tests with people with cognitive impairment to help aid their diagnosis and treatment for their particular type of dementia. She also worked as a care manager in an older people’s team in London, and as a care assistant in a specialist dementia unit that supported people with chronic mental health problems and severe symptoms of dementia.
Laura is a mixed-methods researcher. Her current work is an Alzheimer’s Society funded study exploring the views and experiences of people with dementia and their family carers on residential respite services. In previous dementia care research, Laura has investigated the timing of a move to a care home, continence management (or problems with using the toilet) for people living at home, and effectiveness of reminiscence art groups in improving quality of life for residents living in care homes.
She teaches ‘Ethics’ on the Qualitative Research Methods module for MSc and Summer School students at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience; and has been a regular guest lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London’s MSc Social Work course teaching communication skills with people with dementia. Laura became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018.
Laura is a council member of the Geriatric and Gerontology section at the Royal Society of Medicine, and a member of the editorial board for Dementia: Journal of International Social Research and Practice. She is also a member of the British Society of Gerontology, and INTERDEM (a pan-European network of researchers aiming to improve the quality of life of people with dementia).
Laura is the convenor and chair for the Home Care Research Forum at HSCWRU.
Laura Cole: ORCID iD | Research Profile at King's