Understanding more about community based support for people affected by dementia

Research project: Deepening our understanding of sustainable community based support for people and families affected by dementia 

Lead Investigator: Professor Dawn Brooker
Institution: University of Worcester 
Grant type: Project Grant 
Duration: 18 months
Amount: £150,000

Why did we fund this research?

Comments from our Research Network:

‘A welcome research proposal highlighting the growing need for community based resources for people with dementia and their families.’

What do we already know?

Isolation and loneliness can be a problem for people affected by dementia – individuals and their carers. There are lots of things that can help people and their families cope better with living with dementia. Talking to others helps people realise they are not on their own.  Keeping mentally and physically active helps build strength and confidence. Some people find being creative can helps provide a sense of emotional release, happiness and accomplishment. The problem is, however, that these opportunities are not widely available in local communities.

We need to understand more about what is available in the community, how effective this support is and what is needed to ensure this support is provided. Among the existing services include Memory Café’s and Dementia Friendly Communities.

What does this project involve? 

The research team will be evaluating and analysing the support that is currently available in the community for people affected by dementia and will use this information to help them to develop guidance for future support.

The team will undertake 8 studies of community support programmes that have been available for some time and provide a range of different support to people affected by dementia. They will be aiming to understand:

  • Which support services works for who
  • In which circumstance do these support services work
  • How do they work and in what respect

Using the information they gather, the research team will guidance for what needs to be in place for people affected by dementia in the community. They will also provide guidance on what needs to be available in terms of a national infrastructure, so that community groups can be establish and supported successfully.

How will this project help people with dementia? 

This project will allow the research team to understand which services there are for people who are affected by dementia at the early stages and if they are using this support. If they aren’t we hope to understand more about why that might be.

Ultimately, the research team aim to develop of a blue print for organisations that would like to establish support services across the UK. This will be vital to ensure that people affected by dementia receive the correct and best quality care that is so needed in the community.