How can we meet the needs of people living alone with dementia?

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. It is a time to recommit to ensuring that everyone living with dementia can live a fulfilling and dignified life.
Our research plays a part in this. We are exploring how to identify and support an often forgotten group – people living alone with dementia, who have no family or friends to call on.

In October and November we have three events to share our research findings and develop recommendations.

Our research has been developed and carried out with people living with dementia. We have talked to people living alone with dementia about what they want and need, looked at what is available, and explored how we can best support people in the future.

Our initial findings show that this group often slips off the agenda. Some services are even set up so that a carer, relative or friend has to be involved. However, people can build up a network of support, and input to help them with this can make a difference. Emotional support and peer support are a central part of what is needed. Helping people to plan ahead reduces the fear of something being imposed in the future.

We are excited to share our findings and to get to the stage of developing resources to get our research into communities and services.

People who have no informal support from families and friends often miss out. They are more at risk of not having their needs met, and hitting a crisis where they may end up in hospital or in a care home. In this Alzheimer’s month, it is important to remember this group and to put them back on our radar.

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






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