Mary O’Malley is a Research Assistant on the ANGELA project based at the University of Northampton. Her role mainly focuses on the diagnosis process people with younger onset dementia (YOD) experience and will involve using Delphi Methods to create a “gold standard” in diagnosing YOD.
Prior to starting at Northampton, Mary’s background has predominantly been in cognitive psychology, specifically, understanding how people learn new environments.
She is currently preparing her PhD (Bournemouth University) for submission which has focused on decreasing spatial disorientation for older adults with and without cognitive impairment. This has involved qualitative interviews, testing route memory using virtual reality models of care homes, real-life navigation and investigating the use of you-are-here maps as a navigation aid in older adults. She is very passionate about translating and applying research findings into practice and has been working closely with dementia friendly design guidelines to improve their specificity. Before embarking on her PhD, Mary completed an internship at Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Germany) researching theories of spatial cognition and gained her BSc in Psychology from Cardiff University.
Mary is also a Dementia Friends Champion and regularly holds Dementia Friends sessions in her local community.