A qualitative exploration of living with dementia in supported living environments using a peer researcher approach
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Daly-Lynn, J., Ryan, A., McCormack, B. and Martin, S. (2022) ‘A qualitative exploration of living with dementia in supported living environments using a peer researcher approach’, Aging and Health Research, 2(1), article no. 100055.
Background The aim of the paper is to examine the experiences and perspectives of people living with dementia who live in supported living environments. Methods Peer researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with twenty-two people living with dementia in nine different supported living environments. Results Three themes developed from the thematic analysis: “You can come and go when you like” (Independence and Autonomy); “Everybody the staff and all, all works together” (Collaborative Relationships); and “When I came first, I saw this –I said is this all mine?” (Correct Fit of the Environment). Participants reported living environments that fostered their independence, choice, and control. Collaborative relationships with staff members and family caregivers were important to live the life of their choice. Finally, the correct environment created a sense of ownership and belonging within this space. Conclusions These findings illustrate that supported living can be an environment that empowers individuals on their dementia journey.