Salford Institute for Dementia

About us

Our approach

Putting the humanity and personhood of the person with dementia at the heart of what we do.

The institute is engaged in research, innovation and education in supportive design and care for people living with dementia. The focus of this work is the maintenance of independence and the promotion of integrated support in the communities where people live.

Ensuring that the University develops new knowledge about dementia in the specific areas of focus of:

  • Personhood and humanity
  • Purposeful activity for people with dementia
  • Design of private and public spaces
  • The experience of black and ethnic minorities
  • The experience of people living with dementia in hard to reach communities and individuals

An important aspect of our dementia research, education and innovation at the Institute is our commitment to working in collaboration with people who are living with dementia and their carers.

As part of the University of Salford becoming a dementia friendly university we are active members of both, the Salford and national Dementia Action Alliances.

The University is also part of the wider international dementia friendly community.

Our work

What are we doing to make a positive difference to the experience of people living with dementia?

At the University of Salford we have made the decision to utilise our resources to benefit those in our society whose lives have been changed by dementia today. In November 2013, we established the Salford Institute for Dementia, building on over three years of successful collaboration across a uniquenetwork of academics at the University. The Institute has at its’ heart a spotlight on the humanity and personhood of those living with dementia.  Its driving philosophy is to enable people to live positive, fulfilled lives and instil in everyone a confidence that they can make a differenceto an individual’s experience of dementia.

At Salford we are offering a multi-disciplinary lens on this urgent global challenge. As part of our work to become a “dementia friendly” university, over 50 colleagues from across the institution including the School of the Built Environment, the College of Health and Social Sciences andthe School of Arts and Media, have created new collaborations to focus our work in this area. This has been supported by our key partners at a local, national and international level, including Alzheimer’s UK, Four Seasons Healthcare and the Dementia Action Alliance through the establishment ofour own local organisation, the Salford Dementia Action Alliance. Through these relationships and our wider discussions we have discovered that demand for knowledge, networks, expertise and investment in this area is urgently needed and significant

Our work so far includes:

  • Leading a €400,000 pan European programme developing a new Masters in Dementia: Positive about Dementia, in collaboration with the University of Bournemouth (UK), Dublin City University (Ireland), University of Applied Sciences Saimaa (Finland), University of Maastricht (Holland) and Carinthia Universityof Applied Science (Austria).
  • Developing a modular course which can be studied to Certificate, Diploma or Masters level, and which uniquely combines both aspects of care and living well, with design of the environment. Full details at with the next intake of students in January 2015. 
  • Evaluating a £1 million investment programme in dementia friendly hospitals and care homes in Salford.
  • Evaluating a £1 million investment programme in dementia friendly environments at the University Hospital of South Manchester.
  • Ensuring that our staff and students are aware of and understand more about dementia, through our programmes in health and social care and the built environment.
  • Offering the opportunity for staff and students to become dementia friends where they can gain an understanding of what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.

Our goals

Our goals are to:

  • Make a positive difference to the experience of people and societies across the world faced with the challenges of dementia
  • Develop a positive narrative to living with dementia that challenges the myths and stereotype so that the undiminished humanity of those living with dementia is acknowledged, appreciated and supported. This challenge includes raising the awareness of professionals and practitioners to the capacity andcapability of people living with dementia, to be involved in decisions about their lives, and their involvement in their communities.
  • Contribute to the movement to a dementia friendly society which requires a collaborative approach involving different aspects of the infrastructure of society.
  • Establish strong leadership and a clear focus for interdisciplinary research, innovation and education in the field of dementia design and support
  • Focus on a holistic approach that moves knowledge and practice forward in terms of a positive approach to dementia in societal behaviour, care practice and the environment
  • Enable collaboration of expertise in specific academic disciplines through inter-disciplinary research, innovation and education which is better able to address the complexities of everyday life for people living with dementia and their carers
  • To establish the Institute and its partners as an international centre of excellence in dementia design research, innovation and education that  contributes to enabling and supportive environments