De-institutionalisation of care for older people, analogous with ‘ageing in place’, is gaining ground as the public policy of choice in the area of long-term care in many European countries. Research into the implications of community care specifically for people with dementia has, however, been limited. Given that dementia is currently the second largest cause of disability for people aged 70 and older worldwide, this constitutes a fundamental gap in need of closer investigation. While community care has been shown to be more cost effective than institutional care overall, caring for people living in the community requires heavy involvement of informal carers which comes with its own costs—both social and economic—and which has important implications for the quality of care.
The study will first develop a framework with which to conceptualise the key dimensions of community care for dementia, including social, economic, legal and governance elements. Building on this framework, the research team will construct a toolbox to guide policymakers in assessing existing models of care and in implementing good practices.
Qualitative research methods will be employed including a literature review, semi-structured interviews with international experts, and focus groups with diverse stakeholders, again with a view to gaining international perspectives.