Funded by: Atlantic Philanthropies and Alzheimer’s Society

About the Project

Dementia is one of the biggest health and social care challenges today. In Northern Ireland almost 20,000 people are living with this condition. This number is estimated to treble by 2051, which is the fastest expected rate of increase in the UK.

The four-year regional strategy 'Improving Dementia Services in Northern Ireland' recommends a holistic model of care that includes raising awareness, reducing risk, early intervention, and person-centred care, which helps to encourage and maintain independence, wellbeing and social inclusion.

Alzheimer’s Society’s (AS) Dementia Friendly Communities (DFC) 2013-2017 initiative is a community intervention that has at it's core an awareness-raising programme consisting of workshops delivered to staff at participating organisations.

Organisations register to become dementia friendly and agree to a recognition process, which presupposes that they make an ongoing commitment to the programme.

Project Aims

This initiative aims to improve the care and wellbeing of people with dementia, so that they can live in their own home for longer and enjoy a better quality of life, with improved independence, reduced stigma, and social inclusion.

In order to achieve this, AS are working in partnership with the Health and Social Care Trusts, the Councils, and voluntary sector organisations with the aim to create 16 “living well with dementia” sector models in Northern Ireland, each comprising of a number of businesses and organisations working to become dementia friendly.

Based on realist evaluation processes, we conducted an independent evaluation of the impact of the DFC programme.

Progress on expected activities and outcomes and of the Dementia Friendly Communities programme in Northern Ireland were evaluated for the time period 2013 - 2017. The evaluation comprised analysis of workshop appraisals, an impact survey, and interviews with key stakeholders, people with dementia and carers, and DFC Champions, as well as feedback from mystery shoppers.

The third and final report was submitted in March 2017.

Over the course of the evaluation an excellent working relationship has been built with AS NI.

Find out more about DFC


  • Professor Gerard Leavey (Principal Investigator, The Bamford Centre)
  • Dr Dagmar Corry (Research Associate, The Bamford Centre)
  • Heather Lundy (DFC Manager, Alzheimer’s Society)
  • Julie Morton (DFC Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Society);
  • Bernadine McCrory, Dubheasa Gallagher, and Pamela Frazer (Alzheimer’s Society)
  • Health and Social Care Trusts
  • Local Authority Councils