An update from DemECH

Four months into the DemECH project and our team have been busy navigating their way through various project milestones. This week’s blog follows the team through the first period of their NIHR-funded project…

What is DemECH?

DemECH is a project looking at the experiences of living with dementia in Extra Care Housing (ECH). ECH is a model of housing with care for older people that promotes independent living with the option to take up flexible support as required. Living in ECH involves living in your own self-contained flat or apartment within a larger complex that usually contains a range of shared facilities, such as a shop, café, garden and hairdresser. Care can be provided onsite and can respond flexibly to changing levels of care and support needs.

Circular DemECH logo featuring a stylised image of a house

What have we done so far?

The team have been busy developing the project protocol. This is the document that sets out what they are going to do, why they are going to do it and when it must be done by. Webpages have also been launched and you can now read more about the project and the project team. The Advisory Group has met twice and we’ve been able to recruit two excellent User Representatives, who are playing a vital role in shaping the direction of the project. Ethical approval applications have been submitted and the maze that is IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) has been successfully negotiated. A scoping literature review is nearing its conclusion and a number of surveys have just gone live.

Busy? Well yes!

The surveys are an important stage in the project, as they run alongside the scoping literature review to establish some early data that will inform our approach and focus during latter stages of data collection.

Three surveys have been launched aimed at different audiences and can be accessed by clicking on the links below:

  • People living with dementia – to explore awareness, knowledge and experience of living in ECH. Surveys can be completed alone or with support if preferred.
  • Family carers of people living with dementia in ECH – to explore their perspective of ECH and the benefits and challenges that such locations might provide.
  • Commissioners of adult social care in England – to identify key elements of adult social care strategy and provision for ECH and people living with dementia, as well as begin to gather insight into the relative benefits and challenges that commissioners perceive in ECH.

If you fit the bill for any of these surveys (or know someone who does) please feel free to get involved or share the links with others. Surveys are open until Friday 12th November 2021. A hard copy of the survey is available by contacting Becky on

What’s next?

As mentioned above, you have until Friday 12th November 2021 to participate in the surveys. The data collected from surveys will inform the development of data collection methods for the case study stage of the research.

Case studies? Yes – we are planning to undertake investigations at nine case study sites. We are looking to recruit nine ECH schemes that represent some of the diversity that is seen in ECH. That means we are looking for schemes in urban or rural locations, large or small complexes, those that offer accommodation to both people living with dementia and people without, as well as ECH schemes that are specifically designed to provide specialist support for people living with dementia.

If you would like to find out more about the project, the surveys or potential case study sites, please contact Teresa Atkinson on

Connect with ADS on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow

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