Managing risk, safeguarding and concern

When conducting research with people who have dementia, it's important to prepare well and ensure you are thinking about the person with dementia's needs.

People are vulnerable when they are at higher risk of harm or exploitation than the average member of the population. For example, someone might be vulnerable because they are less able to protect themselves from harm, or because they are in a position where they are more likely to be exposed to harm.

Risk assessment and removing barriers to involvement

Follow your organisation's policy and procedural requirements about information governance and security, data protection, confidentiality, health and safety, equality and diversity. 

Make sure you find out about people's disability and other access needs for getting involved

  • use the Information about me form when inviting people to participate in group activities.
  • example: form used to collate details from Information about me form
    • this is useful to help you plan - to check you have enough information about needs and coping strategies to meet people's needs
    • this is useful to have to hand on the day, for example if people with dementia travelling by train are delayed you might like to text or phone them to check they are not worried and unsure about why their train has stopped unexpectedly (the Network Rail app and website cover all services and provide live updates which can be helpful).

Safeguarding and Service User Involvement

The Care Act 2014 types of abuse include: organisational: neglect or seriously poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Alzheimer's Society - safeguarding

SCIE: Safeguarding people with dementia

What if things go wrong at your activity?

  • Act quickly so things are not left unresolved.
  • The following may be good options to consider
    • acknowledge there is a problem
    • listen to any concerns 
    • refer to agreed group contract for meeting 
    • stop or take a break
      • allow time for people to reflect and/or calm 
    • provide support if necessary
    • let people know what you will do, by when - and update them
    • relevant organisational policy (such as complaints and comments, confidentiality and safeguarding).