Neighbourhoods as relational places for people living with dementia



Clark A, Campbell S, Keady J, Kullberg A, Manji K, Rummery K & Ward R (2020) Neighbourhoods as relational places for people living with dementia. Social Science and Medicine, 252, Art. No.: 112927.

An increase in the number of people living independently with dementia across the developed world has focused attention on the relevance of neighbourhood context for enabling or facilitating social health and wellbeing. Taking the lived experiences and daily realities of people living with dementia as a starting point, this paper contributes new understanding about the relevance of local places for supporting those living with the condition in the community. The paper outlines findings from a study of the neighbourhood experiences, drawing on new data collected from a creative blend of qualitatively-driven mixed methods with people living in a diverse array of settings across three international settings. The paper details some of the implications of neighbourhoods as sites of social connection for those living with dementia from material from 67 people living with dementia and 62 nominated care-partners. It demonstrates how neighbourhoods are experienced as relational places and considers how people living with dementia contribute to the production of such places through engagement and interactions in ways that may be beneficial to social health. We contend that research has rarely focused on the subjective, experiential and ‘everyday’ social practices that contextualise neighbourhood life for people living with dementia. In doing so, the paper extends empirical and conceptual understanding of the relevance of neighbourhoods as sites of connection, interaction, and social engagement for people living with dementia.

UK; Sweden; Dementia; Neighbourhoods; Environment; Social interaction; Relational places; Neighbouring

Social Science and Medicine: Volume 252

FundersUniverzita Karlova v Praze, Economic and Social Research Council and National Institute for Health Research
Publication date31/05/2020
Publication date online17/03/2020
Date accepted by journal12/03/2020
PublisherElsevier BV

People (2)


Professor Kirstein Rummery

Professor Kirstein Rummery

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Dr Richard Ward

Dr Richard Ward

Senior Lecturer in Dementia, Dementia and Ageing