A practical resource helps you set and reach your goals.

Hope can be in short supply after a diagnosis of dementia.

“When people get a diagnosis of dementia, they tell us they're not really given much of a sense of hope,” says Dr. Linda Clare, Professor of Clinical Psychology of Ageing and Dementia at the University of Exeter. “They might get a lot of information about some pretty serious things, but they don't come out feeling hopeful that they can live well with dementia.”

Image courtesy of livingwithdementiatoolkit.org.uk.

A new resource, the My Life, My Goals guide, offers hope to people with dementia and care partners that they can tackle some of the practical challenges dementia brings.

Created by a group of nine people living with dementia and researchers, the self-management guide offers practical advice and strategies informed by lived experience in an accessible and easy-to-use format.

“People living with dementia and their families can be very good at finding strategies and ways of getting around problems,” says Clare. “We also know that sometimes people do value advice, ideas and support to do that more effectively.”

Built upon more than 20 years of research on goal-oriented cognitive rehabilitation carried out at the University of Exeter, the practical My Life, My Goals guide helps people living with dementia to keep doing the things they love, to manage their daily activities and to stay as independent as possible.

Changes in cognitive abilities (including thinking, knowing, remembering, making judgements and solving problems) can make it harder for people with dementia to do some of the things they need to do or enjoy doing. Stress, worry and fear of mistakes can also make day-to-day life feel more difficult.

Working through the My Life, My Goals guide, available online or in print form, helps people with early or mid-stage dementia to define and set highly personalized goals to overcome changes in cognitive abilities that are barriers to living well.

The plain-language guide is full of practical examples and step-by-step templates that support users to work towards making changes to overcome barriers and attain their goals.

All humans are motivated by the pursuit of meaningful goals, yet goals don’t need to be big things, or even new things. By identifying personal goals and strengthening problem-solving skills, people with dementia can regain a vital sense of hope and satisfaction in their own lives.


Try it! Find the My Life, My Goals guide at the Living with Dementia Toolkit website.

Give feedback! Professor Clare and the research team at the University of Exeter would love to hear about your experience with the guide. Try it, and then email them at greatstudy@exeter.ac.uk.

Learn more! GREAT Cognitive Rehabilitation is an evidence-based program from the United Kingdom, developed specifically to enable people with mild and moderate dementia and their family/care supporters.