Our findings

People can and do live on their own with dementia and without family and friends nearby. However, there are important considerations about how people in this situation can best be supported.

The research focused on people with dementia who live alone and who are managing without informal support to contact and navigate services. It included:
● An audit of services available for this group in two English regions
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, commissioners, providers and practitioners to share early findings and co-develop these resources.

Key implications are:
● Awareness of this population was limited; no Local Authority in the audit knew who was living alone and had no carer
● Only two local authorities that were audited had services for this group; these services offered additional support and/or different pathways
● Some dementia services excluded people who did not have a carer or stopped if someone ceased to have informal support
● Travel and timing can make groups inaccessible
● Not everyone is ready for support immediately after diagnosis
● Finding the right support can be difficult for people on their own
● People had different sizes of network and building networks isn’t easy for everyone
● Support and networks could break down e.g. services discontinued or people moved away
● Emotional support is important and other people with dementia can be a good source of support
● Regular contact, a variety of services, ongoing and widespread communication, practical help, planning ahead, contingency planning and facilitating access to other services all help
● Practitioners and providers can be proactive in building support around people.