A digital guide to support people with dementia to be part of the community

Research project: 'MYCONNECTION-FRIEND', a multi-national project to empower people with dementia who live alone to increase community involvement through the development of an easy to use digital guide.

Lead Investigator: Dr Kieren Egan

  • Institution: University of Strathclyde
  • Grant type: Knowledge exchange fellowship
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Amount: ÂŁ10,000

Why did we fund this research?

Comments from our Research Network volunteers:

Loneliness is a real problem for people living on their own and this might be one way to keep people connected with their community.

Project summary

The project will develop a digital application, called “MYCONNECTION-FRIEND”, which will help people affected by dementia to get out of the house and be part of their local community.

This has the potential to tackle issues such as loneliness and social isolation, as well as improve health and wellbeing.

The background 

Evidence shows that, following diagnosis, some people with dementia see fewer people and leave the house less frequently, losing both independence and confidence. 

Feeling lonely and being inactive are associated with other health issue and so  going out and being part of the community is vital. 

What does this project involve?

This research team want to ensure people with dementia who live along feel confident and supported to get out into the communities more often. First, the researchers will look into what the barriers and enablers for people with dementia who live alone to get out into communities are.

Secondly, the researchers will use this information to co-develop with people with dementia a digital application called “MYCONNECTION-FRIEND”.

The aim will be to develop innovations and solutions so that people with dementia who live along can access information to make getting out of the house much easier to do. This could mean providing information about dementia friendly activities, quieter times of shopping etc. 

The design of the application will be determined ultimately, by people living with dementia to make sure it is personalised and practical.  

How will this project help people with dementia?

This collaboration between the Netherlands and the UK will allow the researchers to make the most of the opportunities to access wider audiences and test out innovative ideas in a variety of settings.

This project will deliver a new solution to support people with dementia to get out of the house more often. Working together with people with dementia, the team hope the product will have the potential to improve health and well-being and will be shared with communities across the Netherlands and the UK.

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Further reading