This research is about understanding the needs of people with dementia who live on their own and do not have someone to help them access services or act as a point of contact.
The project is funded by a £296,000 grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and runs from April 2022 to November 2023. The project lead is Dr Jenni Brooks, who is a sociologist and social policy researcher with a background in social care. 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.
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.
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 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.
We also have an advisory group consisting of people with dementia, third sector workers and academics to support us throughout the project.
We will be producing a project newsletter every two months to share progress and news from around our networks. Please do get in touch if you have anything to share, or would like to receive the newsletter. Contact either Jenni Brooks (email@example.com) or Mandy Willcox, project researcher (firstname.lastname@example.org).