Having spent many years leading music workshops for people living with dementia, Frankie has a strong interest in how connections between people with and without advanced dementia who no longer use words to communicate develop. Underpinned by a belief that all human beings are created by and made in the image of God and have profound valued and purpose in the world, Frankie is passionate about challenging the prevalent dehumanising and stigmatising narratives about people with dementia that existing in our society.
Frankie’s interest led to PhD research at University of Edinburgh that explores the experience of making meaningful connections with people with advanced dementia. Her research blended sociological and theological theory which was applied to an empirical study that explored these stories of connection from 17 people without dementia through narrative interviews. Her work has not only brought deep insight into how relationships between people with and without dementia can continue to flourish throughout the dementia journey, it challenges dehumanising narratives and dares others to notice people with advanced dementia as fully human persons who are just like persons without dementia.
Frankie is an active member of Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia (Ecred), which aims to create international social research and impact that prioritises the experience of dementia and strengthens global understanding of living with dementia.
She is currently Project Facilitator, bold (Bringing out Leaders in Dementia). “bold” is delivered in partnership by University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University, funded by Life Changes Trust. It provides leadership opportunities across Scotland to help those living with dementia flourish.
Frankie also works for the Church of Scotland as a Community Development worker focusing on developing community support in the areas of mental health, loneliness, bereavement, and dementia.