UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


What’s that study? Living alone with dementia

18 October 2018

Courtney Poole

We caught up with Courtney Poole, PhD student at the University of Coventry, who is leading the ‘Living Alone with Dementia’ study.

What are the main aims of ‘Living Alone with Dementia?

This study aims to learn about the experience of living alone with dementia.

It is thought that around a third of people with dementia live on their own. Their needs may be very different from those who live with other people, but there has not yet been much research into living alone with dementia.

This study will seek to understand and explain how people live alone with dementia, in order to better inform the services that support them.

What does the study involve for a participant?

Volunteers will be interviewed for one hour. The interview time and location will be arranged to suit the participant. Participants will be given the opportunity to ask questions before the interview and to give their consent to take part.

How long is the study for?

The study forms part of the lead researcher’s Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. It will be recruiting until February 2019.

What do you hope the outcomes of the study will be?

We hope that the information gained from this study will help develop a theory to explain how people live alone with dementia. This can then be used to make recommendations about the best type of support for people in this situation.

Where is the study based?

The study is based in the West Midlands.

Who can take part?

The research team are seeking to interview:

  • people who live on their own with dementia
  • people who know or support people who live on their own with dementia.


Participants with dementia will be asked to nominate a friend or family member who knows them well to be interviewed as well. This person needs to have regular telephone or face-to-face contact with the person with dementia at least once a week. They will also need to be able to take part in a verbal interview.

‘Living alone’ is defined as having no overnight or live-in support. Any level of support may be received during the day.

As the study involves an interview, participants will need to be able to verbally express their opinions and experiences, and to hear the researcher’s questions.

You can see if you are eligible for this study or others around the nation by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.

Not registered with Join Dementia Research? Why not sign up today?