DEN-HB: Dementia-Enabling Neighbourhoods: Participatory development of dementia-friendly neighbourhoods in Bremen

Duration: 01.11.2021 - 31.10.2024
Research Team:

Prof. Dr. Karin Wolf-Ostermann (Projektleitung);


Benjamin Schüz (Projektleitung);


Janissa Altona, M. A.;


Emily Mena, M. A.;


Henrik Wiegelmann M.A. (bis 31.8.23);

Project Type: Third-party funded project
Funding: Tönjes-Vagt Stiftung


According to the latest estimates, there are around 1.6 million people living with a dementia diagnosis in Germany. According to various forecasts, there could be up to 2.8 million people by 2050. Two thirds of those affected in Germany live in their own homes. For the most part, close family members take on the care and support work there, of which around 50-60% do so without seeking further professional help. Accordingly, barriers and opportunities, particularly in the immediate living environment, can play a decisive role when it comes to the psychosocial health of people with dementia and their relatives.

Psychosocial dementia research is increasingly emphasising the importance of the built environment in the immediate living environment of people with dementia. The current World Alzheimer Report also emphasises the role of the (built) environment and makes a "strong statement that design for dementia is 30 years behind the physical disabilities movement - and that this must change".

As part of DEN-HB, a systematic study on the significance of the built living environment for people with dementia in German-speaking countries will be carried out for the first time. Using a mixed-methods study design, the relevance of the built environment for people with dementia who live and are cared for in their own homes, as well as for their carers and relatives, will also be investigated. As an innovative pilot project for the state of Bremen, the research project takes up the demand formulated in the current World Alzheimer Report for the inclusion of the built environment in studies on the quality of life and social participation of people with dementia.


The following questions will be analysed in detail:

(1) Which factors of the built and lived residential and living environment are known to date as important aspects for the design of a dementia-friendly social space?

(2) Which places in their living environment are subjectively perceived as positive or negative by people with dementia and their carers, and how satisfied are they with the dementia-friendliness of their social environment?

(3) Is there a connection between aspects of the built and lived environment and quality of life, social participation and psychological and behavioural symptoms of dementia?