Dementia Choices: Developing self-directed support in social care for people with dementia

Dementia Choices - an older woman with DJ Equipment.

The Dementia Choices project was set up to explore self-directed support for people living with dementia, their families and friends, and staff who support them.

What is self-directed support?

Self-directed support is a new way for people to regain and remain in control of their lives. Self-directed support, including direct payments and individual budgets, enables people living with dementia (and their carers) to have more freedom and choice about the social care services they receive.

Four pilot sites were involved throughout this project and aimed to explore and promote what people living with dementia might want from self-directed support and what kind of information they need.

Throughout the project we found that there was a very low level of awareness and understanding of self-directed support among people living with dementia and their family carers. We also found that a wide variety of social care workers at a local level needed practical information about how self-directed support can work for people living with dementia. If self-directed support is going to benefit people living with dementia then it is important that all practitioners (not just those in local social care services) understand self-directed support and can confidently discuss it with people living with dementia and their family carers.

This project produced a range of materials for people with dementia, their families and friends, and staff working in social care, to raise awareness and providing information about self-directed support:


Dementia and Self Directed Support postcard Dementia and Self Directed Support postcard

Information for people with dementia and family carers about what self-directed support is and where you can find further support and information


Dementia and Self Directed Support leaflet Dementia and Self Directed Support leaflet

More detailed information for people with dementia and family carers about what self-directed support is, how people can get it and where you can find further support and information


Dementia and Self Directed Support leaflet Personalisation and dementia: A resource for trainers

A half day training module for trainers training staff who work with people with dementia


Personalisation and Dementia, a Practitioner's Guide Personalisation and Dementia, a Practitioner's Guide

A question and answer booklet, with common questions and appropriate responses for social care practitioners so they can confidently discuss this with people living with dementia and family carers


Dementia Choices videos Dementia Choices videos

A series of short films about the lives of people with dementia and their families, and how self-directed support has helped them. Includes questions and answers on how to access self-directed support


Dementia Choices was a two year project based in England that was funded through the Department of Health’s Innovation Excellence and Service Development Third Sector Investment programme. It finished in March 2011. The following organisations were involved in piloting this work:

  • Bury Metropolitan Borough council
  • Cornwall Care Ltd
  • Crossroads Care Cambridge City
  • London Borough of Redbridge

Find out more about:
Dementia