Book Chapter

Enabling the neighbourhood: the case for rethinking dementia-friendly communities



Ward R, Rummery K, Odzakovic E, Manji K, Kullberg A, Keady J, Clark A & Campbell S (2021) Enabling the neighbourhood: the case for rethinking dementia-friendly communities. In: Ward R, Clark A & Phillipson L (eds.) Dementia and Place: Practices, Experiences and Connections. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 94 -112.

First paragraph: Neighbourhoods have been integral to the rapid changes occurring within dementia care in recent years, although have not always been acknowledged as such. Dementia, like aged and mental health care before it has been absorbed into a project of deinstitutionalisation occurring within healthcare systems across much of the affluent west (Anttonen and Karsio, 2016). In the UK, deinstitutionalising dementia has involved large-scale reductions to hospital beds available to people with dementia and reduced duration of stay (Alzheimer's Society, 2009). In basic terms, it has meant the relocation of care and support from one type of material and social setting to another, and as such marks a changing geography of care. In many parts of Europe, this 're-placing' of dementia care has not stalled at the shift to community-based support. The on-going retrenchment of public services driven by a policy of fiscal consolidation (that is austerity) has led to widespread closures of traditional council-led day care services (Needham, 2014) alongside tightening of eligibility criteria for admission to care homes and for Continuing Health Care (RCN, 2012), resulting in significant reductions in collective forms of community-based provision. People with dementia are increasingly less likely to be clustered in designated care settings while segregated from the wider community. Instead, policy intentions have shifted to supporting people to age in place through a focus on Personalisation (DoH, 2019; Malbon et al, 2019; Manthorpe and Samsi, 2016). However, as with aged care before it, concerns have been raised over the extent of an existing neighbourhood infrastructure to adequately respond to such changes in dementia care (for example, Miranda-Castillo et al, 2010). The potential danger is that people living with the condition may become, in Rowles' (1978) terms, 'prisoners of space'; facing the prospect of social isolation and domestic confinement as their lifeworld constricts (Alzheimer's Society, 2013; Moyle et al, 2011).

Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online24/09/2021
PublisherPolicy Press
Publisher URL…mentia-and-place
Place of publicationBristol

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

Research programmes

Research centres/groups

Research themes