We worked with Alzheimer’s Society to change the narrative around sex and intimacy in care homes to increase the quality of life for people living with dementia.

The challenge

For people living with dementia having sexual and intimate relationships is an often taboo and neglected subject. This can have a significant impact on their wellbeing.

The solution

We ran a 6-week sprint with the new Innovation and Development Team. We immersed ourselves in the problem by interviewing managers, staff, residents and their families across the country to better understand sex, intimacy and relationships in care homes.

We designed, tested and prototyped different solutions in 12 care homes across the UK. The result was “Lift the Lid” – a workshop-in-a-box that challenges care home staff’s perceptions, offers a framework for respectful management of in-the-moment situations, and helps align on shared values and policies on this topic.

The impact

  • Endorsed by Bupa and the CQC

  • National roll out in 2018

  • Increase in care homes adopting a sex and intimacy policy

  • Shortlisted in the National Dementia Care Awards 2018 as an outstanding innovation.

  • Key Media attention, including The Guardian 

"Be brave and Lift the lid .. it’s right to do this, people need us to do this. Couples may think that romance, sex, intimacy and their personal relationship is out of bounds when one partner is living in a care home and we do nothing now to support them to think otherwise – this has opened my eye!"


Care Home Manager