Dementia lifestyle coach pilot program

Lee Fay Low, Annica Barcenilla-Wong, Michael Fitzpatrick, Kate Swaffer, Henry Brodaty, Nicola Hancock, James McLoughlin, Sharon Naismith

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Objectives: This study aimed to conduct a feasibility pilot of the Dementia Lifestyle Coach program; an individual coaching and counselling program for people recently diagnosed with dementia, to help them to adjust to the diagnosis and live well.

Methods: A randomised controlled pilot trial (n = 11) with wait-list control group was undertaken over 12 months. Intervention group participants received immediate personalised counselling from a registered psychologist and monthly support (face-to-face or by telephone) from a trained peer mentor living with dementia. The wait-listed control group commenced treatment 6 months after baseline. 

Results: Recruitment and delivery of the Dementia Lifestyle Coach program was highly feasible. The program was acceptable, with nine of the 11 participants describing benefits including informational and emotional support, improving their outlook and mood, and family relationships. The planned program was adapted to participants' individual needs. 

Conclusions: This small pilot showed that it is feasible to recruit for and deliver a counselling and peer mentoring program for people recently diagnosed with dementia. A larger hybrid implementation randomised control trial should be conducted to evaluate efficacy and effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Early online date22 Dec 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Dec 2022


  • dementia
  • lifestyle coaching
  • peer mentoring
  • postdiagnostic support
  • randomised controlled trial


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