Dementia in the workplace

Lead Investigator: Professor Pauline Banks
Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Grant type: Project grant
Duration: 24 months
Amount: £97,961
Scientific Title: Dementia in the workplace: a feasibility study exploring the employment related experiences of people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment and their employers or co-workers to identify the potential for continued employment post diagnosis

Why did we fund this project?

Comments from members of our Research Network:

'Part of a spectrum of research needed to help develop coping strategies for both workers and their employers in a time when more people with both MCI/dementia are found in the work place.'

'This is such an important area to research. It is already appropriate in cases of young onset dementia & will become more so as pension age rises. Both society & the individual could benefit from the results.'

'This is a well presented and thorough proposal for research into the experiences of people with dementia and MCI in the workplace.'

What do we already know?

Because dementia is usually thought of as something that happens to older people, little attention has been paid to the opportunities for employment. Not much is known about the experiences of people with dementia who are, or would like to be, working.

This project will explore the experiences of people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in the workplace and their employers or colleagues in order to identify the possibility of continued employment post-diagnosis.

Previous research has found a lack of support for people experiencing changes associated with dementia, even after diagnosis, often resulting in the person with dementia leaving work before they would have liked. People with dementia consulted during the development of this proposal indicated that they would have liked to continue working had the option been available.

What does this project involve?

The aim of the project is to find out whether it is possible for people with dementia or MCI to remain in employment after diagnosis, and if so, what support they would need to allow them to do so.

A feasibility study using case studies will be conducted, including interview with people with dementia or MCI, family members, employers and colleagues. Each case study will be based around someone aged between 50 and 69 who has a diagnosis of dementia or MCI and is in paid employment, or has left within the previous two years, and would like, or would have liked, to continue working.


How will this benefit people with dementia?

This project will provide evidence that can be used to influence policy around employment. This will help people with MCI and dementia to receive better understanding and support from their employers and colleagues, hopefully enabling them to remain in work for as long as they would like to, prolonging independence, and improving the quality of life of those affected and their families.
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