We exist

People can and do live on their own with dementia and without informal support.

The Living Alone with Dementia project has co-developed resources that offer advice and guidance to enable this, based on our research.

“Society insists you have to be capable, but everyone needs a bit of help.” (Person living alone with dementia)

People living alone with dementia emphasise the importance of proactive, individual support. Recognition, accessible information and services, support to plan, build networks and emotional support are all essential.

  • The resources developed from our research include a guide for people living with dementia that sets out important questions to ask services and advice from peers about how to manage living alone.
  • There is also a general guide that provides advice to anyone who has a neighbour or acquaintance, who lives alone with dementia and without family and friends nearby.
  • There are guides for commissioners and for people who work with people with dementia. These provide information about what’s different in this situation and how best to respond. They also share examples of good practice gathered in the research.

At the launch of the resources, practitioners and providers said that they would be proactive in finding out about people’s networks of support. They will use the Guide for people living with dementia to have conversations with people about what will help them remain independent. “These guides will help me with being an advocate and finding more answers to questions.” (Practitioner)

Commissioners said they would use the resources to review how inclusive services are, and build recognition that this group of people – living alone with dementia and without family and friends nearby – exists and is growing.
“We will share the guides within our organisation, review new services that we develop against the important questions, and ask questions about how we could do a wider audit of our services for inclusivity for people living alone.” (Voluntary sector organisation representative)

During the launch, people with dementia shared how important it is to act early to give them the best chance of continuing to live in the place they call home for as long as they want, even without informal support. “If I’m having to put mental effort into finding things out, that’s costly, I haven’t the energy then to live. The more you tell me, the better, without me having to ask.

We hope these resources will enable people living alone with dementia to get that proactive and personal bit of help they need.

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

All the resources are available here.

To develop the resources, we shared the research with stakeholders – including people with dementia, providers, practitioners and commissioners – and co-developed key messages, produced draft resources and then gathered feedback from stakeholders before finalising this resource.






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