Introduction

The Deaf Dementia Research Project, funded by the Life Changes Trust (LCT), began in February this year (2021) and is running until March 2022.

My name is Carolyn Denmark. I am the Project Research Officer, working two days a week for BDA Scotland.

The research involves collecting and analysing data from twelve Scottish care homes. Data include focus group discussions and interviews with Care Managers and Keyworkers to explore current practices when caring for Deaf people with dementia. This will be compiled and published as the Research Project report.

Study One will engage six care homes who currently have, or in the past have had, Deaf residents with dementia. We will explore the services they provide by interviewing a maximum of two staff at each home: managers and/or keyworkers.

Study Two will interview Care Managers from a further six care homes across Scotland who have not yet cared for any Deaf residents with dementia, as there is always the possibility that they may do in the future.

We will also facilitate two focus groups for up to six Deaf people each, to explore current experiences of Deaf carers of Deaf people with dementia in Scotland. The first focus group will invite Deaf signers who have provided care for a Deaf individual with dementia. This could include working in a residential care setting, making home visits, or caring for a Deaf family member with dementia.

The second focus group will invite Deaf signers more generally from the Deaf community to participate in a discussion on care for Deaf people with dementia. We have a number of anticipated topics to introduce: what would your ideal care home look like? What would you expect from day-care provision, or from respite provision? Would you want to be with other Deaf people? What communication expectations do you have? What communication resources should be in place, whether day care, respite or long-term care? How should a care home adapt to the cultural needs of Deaf people? What knowledge and experience should care staff have?

It is anticipated that both focus groups will be held online, via Zoom. If you would like to join either Deaf focus group, and you are over 18, please contact me at:

Email: dementia.research@bda.org.uk