Living Together with Dementia

elderly couple looking and smiling each other

Tavistock Relationship’ Living Together with Dementia Programme aims to improve the quality of life and mental health of couples living together with dementia.

Dementia can be difficult to understand and come to terms with, bringing challenges for couples at a time when your relationship with your partner is key.

Tavistock Relationships is developing this unique psychosocial intervention to improve resilience, adjustment and acceptance in couples living with dementia: increasing the length of time they can maintain their independence, remain active and preserve an intimate and familiar relationship with their partner – reducing the burden of care and health impacts on that partner/carer. Key to this intervention is that the couple relationship is used as a protective factor in managing the emotional sequelae associated with a diagnosis of dementia.

Tavistock Relationships trains health and social care staff (nurses, psychologists, counsellors and other professionals working with people with dementia) in the Living Together with Dementia (LTwD) protocols and supervises their programme delivery, leading to accreditation – embedding the programme whilst assuring quality and effectiveness.

Following an initial meeting, couples living with dementia receive eight home visits from a LTwD professional. Focusing on the couple relationship, these sessions use shared involvement in everyday activities as a basis for enhancing understanding and communication, mobilising existing strengths and addressing negative cycles of interaction which often accompany dementia. 

Couples Living Together with Dementia are helped to:

  • manage the loss and trauma of diagnosis
  • find ways of adjusting to the changes accompanying dementia
  • enhance emotional contact and understanding of each other’s feelings
  • increase closeness and understanding
  • continue with everyday activities together, that support wellbeing and interdependence and contain care needs
  • recover/retain the protective aspects of their relationship, strengthening its resilience and ability to survive and act as a protective resource for the couple.

LTwD is an evidence-based programme which can reduce stress and burden for the partner/carer and so reduce institutional care needs through investment in the couple’s relationship. Investment in the training of health and social care staff in the LTwD approach will enable them to continue delivering LTwD to couples living with dementia in the future.

City and Hackney Training places available now

Living Together with Dementia is currently running in City and Hackney thanks to innovation grant funding awarded to Tavistock Relationships by City and Hackney CCG. There are training opportunities available now for professional health staff in City and Hackney: nurses, counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and other health and social care professionals with clinical experience of working with people with dementia.

The Living Together with Dementia Programme is aimed at couples living in City and Hackney who are married, in a civil partnership or any committed relationship. Couples work with one of our specialist team to think about their situation and help find new strategies and ways of adjusting together to the challenges of dementia. The appointments will involve both partners talking together about their experiences and feelings about what is happening and there is also time for each to talk individually with the therapist. Meetings will take place at the couple’s home or at Tavistock Relationships headquarter in central London.

Couples Living Together with Dementia in City and Hackney who are interested in this programme can contact us for more information.

More information

To find out more about the LTWD intervention please download the LTWD intervention summary here or call 020 7380 1950 or email ltwd@tavistockrelationships.ac.uk



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