One of the first projects to develop circles of support for people with people with dementia in the UK examines if this approach can help people to live well and remain connected to communities.
Learning from the project so far includes:
Opportunities for people with dementia and their carers to do things independently of each other can also be very hard to find, but are often much needed and appreciated if these involve activities which people really want to do. Although the Circles being developed are focusing on the needs and wishes of the person with dementia, it is also vital to consider the needs of unpaid carers, especially those with a full time role.
Barriers which stop people with dementia from achieving things they want are very common and we believe these are often caused by fear, stigma and ignorance. These exist across many local services and supports and can take different forms, from complete exclusion 'we can't deal with people with dementia here' to the more practical situation of people with dementia having difficulty in getting along to a group or activity (through lack of transport or appropriate support to get there).