Dementia in the Workplace: the potential for continued employment post diagnosis

Debbie Tolson, Louise Ritchie, Mike Danson, Pauline Banks

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Given the current emphasis on early diagnosis and the increase in state pension age across Europe it is likely that the number of people in employment when diagnosed with dementia will increase. To date, little attention has been paid to the issues surrounding continued employment for people with dementia. This project aimed to explore the employment-related experiences of people with dementia to assess the potential for continued employment. The project comprised three phases: a literature review, sixteen key informant interviews and finally, seventeen case studies of people with dementia who were in employment when they were diagnosed. Six papers were included in the integrative literature review, which highlighted the dearth of information in the area. The key informant interviews were carried out with a range of healthcare and employment professionals and identified the complexities of supporting dementia in the workplace, but also the range of support which may be available. Of the seventeen case studies included in the final phase, eight continued employment post diagnosis, highlighting that continued employment post diagnosis. A cross case analysis was carried out which highlighted the similarities and differences between the cases. The main findings were that while continued employment post diagnosis was possible, it was not the best option for everyone and could be complex to support. Factors such as the type of job, getting a timely diagnosis and organisational culture all had a role to play in supporting people with dementia to continue employment. This study was the first in Europe to fully explore the experiences of people with dementia in employment to develop an understanding of the level and type of support that may be required for a person of working age when they are diagnosed with dementia. Based on the findings reported, recommendations are made which aim to shape future research, and influence policy and practice for supporting people with dementia in their employment.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of the West of Scotland
Commissioning bodyAlzheimer's Society
Number of pages177
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Dementia
  • Employment
  • stigma
  • Early onset dementia
  • Occupation
  • Vocational rehabilitation


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