The ALWAYS (standing for Action on Living Well: Asking You) network's role is to advise on different aspects of the project as needed by the project team, based on personal experience, skills and expertise.

Crowds in the street

Why the name - ALWAYS network?

The name was suggested and chosen by the members at the first meeting in April 2014.


  • All members of the ALWAYS network are people with dementia or family carers of people with dementia.
  • The members are volunteers and the network is typically made up of 6 people with dementia and 6 family carers, although this number may vary.
  • Membership is currently on a 12-month rolling basis and members are asked if they would like to continue each year.
  • Face-to-face meetings are held annually, but attendance is not compulsory.
  • In order to involve people in different circumstances, members may also be asked to contribute via telephone, letter, email or a one-to-one meeting.
  • Other opportunities for involvement of ALWAYS members in the IDEAL project will also be given when they arise.

How the views of the network will be fed into the project

Alzheimer's Society and Innovations in Dementia will represent the views of the network at management group meetings. Additionally, individual members of the project team may be asked to attend project team meetings, directly feedback to individual project team members or may be part of the Project Advisory Group.

How the ALWAYS network has helped the project so far

During 2017 members of the network have:

Reviewed study progress.
Represented IDEAL at the British Gerontology Society Conference in Swansea, July 2017.

Consulted about the continuation of IDEAL with the funding application for IDEAL-2.

Reviewed analysis from the IDEAL T1 data.
Will contribute to the ESRC Festival of Social Science, Exeter Nov. 7th 2017.

During 2016 members of the network have:

Reviewed study progress.
Members took part in piloting of the qualitative interview for IDEAL.

Consulted about the research process and contributed to training.

Discussed of a new measure to look at how people with dementia think about their condition.
Represented IDEAL at UK Dementia Congress 2016 in Brighton.

During 2015 members of the network have:

Consulted on the questions we ask.

Advised us on the introduction of data linkage to IDEAL.

Provided feedback that was used in researcher training.

Met with the photographer to discuss the linked project 'A Life More Ordinary'

ALWAYS network members have been involved in piloting of the IDEAL interviews