‘Living beyond dementia is, I believe, what we need to learn to do, and what…professionals need to support us with.’ (Kate Swaffer)
This web resource aims to help social workers to offer positive, helpful support to people who have dementia.

The website contains:

  • Case studies to help you think through different situations that people with dementia face. There are three case studies: Raj has early onset dementia; Bob and Edith are an older married couple who both have dementia; and Joan lives alone and has recently been diagnosed with dementia.
  • Overarching resources to act as a foundation for your knowledge. These include information about what dementia is, law and policy, and useful links.
  • Practice guidance to help you work well with people with dementia. This is based on five essential principles: start with the person; maintain a relationship; involve support networks; uphold people’s rights; and work with ongoing change. Each section gives evidence and information, including links to useful resources and tools.
  • Tools section for quick access to the tools that are included in the Practice Guidance section.
  • Professional development resources so that you can reflect and use learning in your practice. This includes Top Tips for social work practice.

Video: Supporting confident social work practice with people living with dementia

Video: Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults, introduces the materials on this website.

The experience of people with dementia is central to the resource. The case studies and practice guidance draw on evidence from people’s lived experiences. The practice guidance is based on A manual for good social work practice Supporting adults who have dementia. The manual was written by The College of Social Work (TCSW, now closed) for the Department of Health in 2015 following a series of workshops with social workers, carers, adult social care managers, voluntary sector agencies, charities, academics, learning and development officers, and dementia experts.

Social workers have an important role in ensuring that people with dementia and people close to them receive good support. This site is aimed at social workers and those who support them to work well such as managers and educators. It is also useful for allied professionals, agencies and organisations. We have also made the site as accessible as possible for the general public, particularly those who are affected by dementia.

This web resource was commissioned by the Department of Health and created by Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA). The methodology explains how it was developed.