Li X, Keady J & Ward R (2021) Transforming lived places into the connected neighbourhood: A longitudinal narrative study of five couples where one partner has an early diagnosis of dementia. Ageing and Society, 41 (3), pp. 605-627. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X1900117X
To support people with dementia to live at home, a key national and international policy driver is to create dementia-friendly communities which draws attention to the importance of a local neighbourhood and living well with dementia. However, there is a lack of evidence about how people with dementia define and interact with their neighbourhood. This longitudinal narrative research aimed to uncover the meaning, construction and place of neighbourhood in the lives of people with dementia and their care partners through a participatory approach. Five couples, where one partner had an early diagnosis of dementia and capacity to consent, participated in the (up to) one-year mixed qualitative method study. During this time-frame, 65 home visits were conducted, resulting in over 57 hours of interview data alongside the development of other artefacts, such as neighbourhood maps, photographs, diaries and field notes. Narrative analysis was applied within and across the data-sets. This led to the emergence of three themes to describe a connected neighbourhood. First, ‘connecting to people’ is about the couples’ connections with family members, friends and neighbours through a sense of belonging, group identification and responsibilities. Second, ‘connecting to places’ shares the couples’ emotional and biographical attachment to places. Third, ‘connecting to resources’ refers to the couples actively seeking support to live independently and to retain neighbourhood connections.
dementia; neighbourhood; narrative; longitudinal; participatory mapping
Ageing and Society: Volume 41, Issue 3