The lived neighbourhood: understanding how people with dementia engage with their local environment



Ward R, Clark A, Campbell S, Graham B, Kullberg A, Manji K, Rummery K & Keady J (2018) The lived neighbourhood: understanding how people with dementia engage with their local environment. International Psychogeriatrics, 30 (6), pp. 867-880.

Background: In this paper we report progress on ‘Neighbourhoods: our people, our places’ an international study about how people living with dementia interact with their neighbourhoods. The ideas of social health and citizenship are drawn upon to contextualise the data and make a case for recognising and understanding the strengths and agency of people with dementia. In particular, we address the lived experience of the environment as a route to better understanding the capabilities, capacities and competencies of people living with dementia. In doing this our aim is to demonstrate the contribution of social engagement and environmental support to social health.  Methods: The study aims to ‘map’ local spaces and networks across three field sites (Manchester, Central Scotland and Linkoping, Sweden). It employs a mix of qualitative and participatory approaches that include mobile and visual methods intended to create knowledge that will inform the design and piloting of a neighbourhood-based intervention.  Results: Our research shows that the neighbourhood plays an active role in the lives of people with dementia, setting limits and constraints but also offering significant opportunities, encompassing forms of help and support as yet rarely discussed in the field of dementia studies. The paper presents new and distinctive insights into the relationship between neighbourhoods and everyday life for people with dementia that have important implications for the debate on social health and policy concerning dementia friendly communities.  Conclusion: We end by reflecting on the messages for policy and practice that are beginning to emerge from this on-going study.

Dementia; Neighbourhoods; Environment; Social Networks; Dementia Friendly Communities

International Psychogeriatrics: Volume 30, Issue 6

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date30/06/2018
Publication date online02/05/2017
Date accepted by journal25/03/2017
PublisherCambridge University Press

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

Projects (1)