Dementia Connect development

Find out how Alzheimer's Society are going about improving the lives of people with dementia through personalised care, support, and its evaluation.

The Purpose

People affected by dementia told Alzheimer's Society that they need a simple, single point of referral that works hand in hand with the clinical care they receive. Connecting them and their carer with vital practical support to empower them to independently manage their condition and remain active within their community.

Dementia Connect  aims to do this - as the new way Alzheimer's Society is providing dementia support

Dementia Connect has several parts

  • Dementia Advice
    • To reach every person with dementia at the point of diagnosis or at the point of GP review. 
    • The service should connect people to the right information and support, at the right time, in the right way (face to face, telephone or online) by trained 'Dementia Advisers' and volunteers. 
    • To be free of charge to service users.
    • Alzheimer's Society will keep in touch, providing ongoing support and services when people need it, so that people can live independently for longer and don't wait for crises before getting help.  
  • Side by Side
    • to help people with dementia to stay actively involved in their local communities, doing the things that matter to them.
  • Our web-site
    • to help people affected by dementia, people worried about possible dementia, and healthcare professionals to self-guide to information and support. 


Alzheimer's Society decided to introduce Dementia Connect through 'Early Adopter' sites, to help learn and improve how it worked, ahead of rolling it out across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

What happened

Early Adopter 1 was launched in spring 2017 in East Lancashire.

Early Adopter 2 was launched in March 2018 in Birmingham and Solihull.

  • we are aware that staff and people affected by dementia have given some very positive feedback about delivering and receiving the Dementia Connect service, but we have yet to complete formal evaluation.

Early Adopter 3 was launched in stages, between October 2018 and January 2019, across Wales.

  • Dementia Connect received over 900 referrals from Wales before the end of February 2019. Over 70% of referrals from health and social care professionals in Wales were by then being made through our online portal. 

The Results

Early Adopter 1 evaluation

The evaluation found people affected by dementia were very satisfied with both tiers of the Dementia Connect service. The role of the Dementia Advisers was important in helping to meet people's needs.

Early Adopter site 1 infographic showing some of the evaluation findings.

It is still early days for Early Adopter sites 2 and 3. Formal evaluation has yet to be completed. But already, learning is happening, for example 

  • the online portal is making it much quicker and easier for health and care professionals to make referrals into Dementia Connect.​
  • we are noticing that one of the most popular elements of the service are the KIT (Keeping in Touch) calls. 
    • These calls are offered to people affected by dementia once we have met their initial needs.
    • They allow us to stay connected to our service users in a person centred way by checking in with them to see how they are doing and if there is any further support we can offer. 
    • KIT calls are designed to be made by specially trained volunteers.

What changed for people with dementia

We are still very much in the early days of implementing and learning how things are working, but we have already found some benefits across the Early Adopter sites of quicker and easier access to help for more people affected by dementia, compared to how those sites were working before Dementia Connect.

We are starting to get some lovely feedback about the difference to their quality of life that Dementia Connect is making for people affected by dementia, for example

‘We love holidays and thought we could not go on any more holidays. [The Dementia Adviser] gave me the confidence to book a holiday.’ (Tier 2 respondent)

Learning Points

Dementia Connect is enabling Alzheimer's Society to reach more people affected by dementia, more quickly than before. 

  • the new process is quicker and slicker and is enabling me to reach more people.' (Dementia Adviser, tier 1, Early Adopter 1).

Key contact to find out more

Email: [email protected].