About the research

The challenge

Plenty of people with dementia live alone. Family and friends are often helpful, but when a person with dementia does not have someone to act as a point of contact, or help them to access services, they may miss important appointments or not get the support they need, which may mean they are more likely to go into hospital or residential care.

We currently do not know how this group manages their lives or what support is available for them. Some people will manage well – we can learn from them. Others may struggle and might need more support.

The study

The research project has four parts to it:

  • An audit of services available for this group in two English regions (Yorkshire & the Humber, and North Thames)
  • Interviews with this group of people with dementia.
  • Case studies in four areas to explore the support available, what works, and what does not work.
  • Workshops with people with dementia and practitioners to share early findings and co-develop useful resources.

The project is one of the first to include people living alone with dementia as active participants in research, as well as sitting on an advisory board.

The research runs to November 2023 when we will start to share our findings and resources.

About us

The project is funded by a grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and runs from April 2022 to November 2023. The research is a collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University, University College London (NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North Thames), Innovations in Dementia, and Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group.

We have an advisory group consisting of people with dementia, third sector workers and academics to support us throughout the project.

The project lead is Dr Jenni Brooks, who is a sociologist and social policy researcher with a background in social care.

Image from the Centre for Ageing Better’s Age-positive Image Library