Supporting social connection for people living with dementia: lessons from the findings of the TRIO study

Happy elder Asian man using walker while walking for exercise around the garden with his son taking care of him at the retirement age with copy space

Prendergast, L.M., Toms, G., Seddon, D., Jones, C., Anthony, B.F. and Edwards, R.T. (2023). Working with Older People, Vol. No. ahead-of-print.

The purpose of this paper is to share the learning concerning how services and the paid carers working in them can support people living with dementia (PLWD) and their unpaid carers to overcome social isolation. This learning comes from the key findings from a Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation of a Shared Lives (SL) Day support service, known as TRIO. SROI is a form of cost-benefit analysis that captures and monetizes stakeholder outcomes. The SROI evaluation included a rapid evidence review, an interview study and a questionnaire study.

PLWD who accessed the SL Day support service experienced better social connection, a sense of control over their activities (including their social activities) and community presence. A key foundation of these outcomes was the meaningful relationship that developed between the PLWD, their unpaid carer and the paid carer.