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Dementia research

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers has completed research with local groups of people with mild to moderate dementia. Based on this experience, we can offer other organisations a UK-wide research resource involving consumers with dementia.

Dementia research programme

ID logoOur work with Innovations in Dementia (iD) involved people with dementia in a programme of local and national projects, providing feedback and insight on products, services and environments. People with dementia are often an 'invisible' consumer group and we've worked:

  • with iD and local DEEP (Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project) groups, to design practical consumer insights that can have real and practical impact - see below.
  • to provide an important UK-wide consumer research resource for businesses and organisations.
  • with funding support from the John Ellerman Foundation as part of a three year project, completed at the end of July 2018.

Local projects

Design of remote controls, Manchester

With the Fabulous Forgetful Friends group in Manchester, we held a workshop to explore the needs of people with dementia when using television remote controls, highlighting what works and what does not, and to consider any future trends in remote controls and usability. Read the report: Design workshop investigating remote controls for people with dementia

Design of assistance cards, Camden, London

Working with the Great Camden Minds DEEP group, the aim was to investigate the positive and negative opinions that people with dementia have about the design and use of assistance cards and to propose their own design to meet their needs. Read the report: Design workshop investigating assistance cards for people with dementia

Accessible transport, Belfast

Our research in partnership with iD and Dementia NI and Translink in April 2018 was to gain feedback on how accessible public transportation facilities are for people with dementia. The research was conducted at the Europa Bus Centre and the Great Victoria Street Railway Station complex in Belfast city centre. Read the report: How accessible are transportation facilities for people with dementia? A view from Belfast

Financial lasting power of attorney, West Berkshire

Working in partnership with the West of Berkshire DEEP group and Irwin Mitchell LLP, we found out what the experience of getting a financial lasting power of attorney (LPA) was like for people with dementia and their partners and carers. Our research points to the importance of understanding LPA, whether it's for yourself, for another person, or when your work brings you into contact with people who have LPA. Read the financial lasting power of attorney report.

People with dementia using taxis and minicabs, Camden, London

In partnership with the Camden Minds DEEP group based in the London Borough of Camden, we carried out research with four people to investigate minicab and taxi services. March 2017. Read the taxi report.

Mecca Bingo, York

We visited Mecca Bingo in York with the local DEEP group, York Minds and Voices, where we looked at how their experience can help produce recommendations on how bingo halls can best accommodate people with dementia. February 2017. Read the bingo report.

RSC Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon

In partnership with the Friends Together DEEP group based in Redditch, Worcestershire, we worked with the RSC to evaluate theatre environment and performance at their Stratford-upon-Avon home. August 2016. Read the theatre report.

Leeds Citybus

An investigation of a proposed Next Stop Announcement system to find out whether it can improve journeys for people with dementia. The investigation was carried out by the Bradford DEEP group in partnership with First Group's Leeds Citybus.  January 2016. Read the bus report.

Huguenot Museum, Kent

Our first local project, where people with dementia from the local DEEP group Memorybilia visited the Huguenot Museum in Rochester using a mystery shopping approach. December 2015. Read the museum report.

National Projects

We completed two national research projects, which were confidential in nature:

  • Usability testing of central heating programmer / thermostat unit - colour contrast  (Hive Active Heating). In partnership with SUNshiners DEEP group in Dover.
  • Workshop to collect feedback on utility billing and other financial information materials (British Gas). In partnership with the Forget-me-nots DEEP group in Canterbury and Mindcare Dementia Support in Lewisham.

More dementia resources

Participatory research involving people with dementia: guidance for researchers July 2018 This is a downloadable PDF

Lorraine Brown of Memorybilia gave a speech about living with dementia at our second Research Exchange in June 2016

To discuss or commission research from the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, contact Caroline Jacobs.

Last updated: August 2018