Joining up dementia: Not as easy as it sounds

Jill Manthorpe*, Steve Iliffe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to discuss the different meanings of integration as expressed in dementia care practice and service organisation in England. Dementia is frequently complicated by concurrent illnesses or long-term conditions at the end of life. Design/methodology/approach - This is a policy discussion. Findings - The paper describes three forms of integration: linkage, co-ordination of care, and full integration. Each form or level is related to dementia as a progressive neurological disorder with multiple symptoms, which also overlaps with other long-term conditions, making each individual's dementia unique. Linkage means being able to identify appropriate resources to meet the needs of the individual and their family. Co-ordination usually means multi-disciplinary working at least with general practice and often wider practitioner input. Full integration is best expressed by the work of care homes, which co-ordinate care and often draws on diverse funding streams. Practical implications - Greater specificity of the meaning of integration may be helpful to policy makers and practitioners. The care and treatment of people with dementia may be optimised if practitioners think about work styles and engagement with other sectors, agencies and professionals rather than pursuing all-encompassing organisational integration. Care homes may have much to teach other practice settings about full integration. Originality/value - Integration is often seen uncritically as the solution to all problems; this paper explores the varieties of integration and explores their implications for practitioners and policy makers supporting people with dementia and their carers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Integrated Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Dementia
  • Integration
  • Policy implementation


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