Dementia or mild cognitive impairment: @ work in progress

This multidisciplinary project (occupational therapy, psychology, elder law and labour law, social and political science, and engineering) provides new insights into what happens when people develop mild cognitive impairment or early stage dementia while still working, how this is influenced by legislation, and how it is experienced and potentially managed by those concerned. Start date for this three-year project was 1 April 2018, to be ended during 2023 (extension due to the pandemic).

This project is focusing on:

  • The role of technology, the match between persons and technologies, testing new/adapted solutions to support continued work and/or transition from work, and the learning approaches and problem-solving strategies each person develops for adapting and managing working with cognitive impairment;
  • How laws, regulations and policies in different countries and organizations can support and/or hinder continued work and/or transition from work, how these are practiced by a variety of actors, and how they can be understood better by people with dementia/MCI and their employers;
  • The creation of a new digital tool to support understanding, communication, and planning between people with MCI and their employers.


Leaders: Louise Nygård (coordinator), Arlene Astell (leader Canada, Toronto University) and Anna Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen (leader Finland, University of Eastern Finland).

In Sweden: Ann-Charlotte Nedlund (Linköping University), Charlotta Ryd (KI), Ann-Louise Engvall och Birgit Heuchemer (KI), Lena Rosenberg (KI), Anders Kottorp (Malmö University/KI).

In Canada: Jenifer Boger (Waterloo University) and Arlene Astell & other co-workers at University of Toronto and University of Waterloo.

In Finland: Sirkkaliisa Heimonen (The Age Institute), and Mervi Issakainen, Marjo Ylhäinen & Katja Karjalainen (University of Eastern Finland).


In Sweden: FORTE under the framework of the JPI MYBL, and contributions from Demensförbundet.

Publications (a few more are still in manuscript, not listed here)

Nygård L, Ryd C, Astell A, Nedlund A-C, Boger J, Mäki Petäjä Leinonen A, Issakainen M, Larsson-Lund, M. (2021). Self-Initiated Management Approaches in Everyday Occupations used by People with Acquired Cognitive Impairment. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1-13.

Nygård L, Nedlund, A-C, Mäki Petäjä Leinonen, A, Astell, A., Boger, J, Issakainen, M, Engvall, A-L, Heuchemer, B, Rosenberg, L, Ryd, C. (2023) What happens when people develop dementia whilst working? An exploratory multiple case study.  International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 18 (1), 2176278.

Issakainen M, Mäki-Petäjä-Leinonen A, Heimonen S, Nedlund A-C, Astell A, Boger J, Rissanen S, Nygård L. (2021). Experiences of influencing one's own life when living with working-age dementia. Ageing and Society, 1-20. 

Karjalainen K, Issakainen M, Ylhäinen M, Marashi S, Nedlund A-C, Boger J, Astell A, Mäki Petäjä Leinonen A, Nygård L. (2022). “Supporting continued work under the UNCRPD – views of employees living with mild cognitive impairment or early onset dementia.” International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, published online, 5th August 2022.

Shastri K, Boger J, Marashi S, Astell A, Dove E, Nedlund A-C, Mäki Petäjä Leinonen A, Nygård L. (2022). Working towards inclusion: Creating technology for and with people living with mild cognitive impairment or dementia who are employed. Dementia, 21(2):556-578.

Published Conference Proceedings and other articles in English

Marashi S, Astell A, Mäki Petäjä Leinonen A, Nedlund A-C, Nygård L, Boger J. (2020). “Identifying the Features and Functions of a Work-management App for People with Early Onset Dementia/ Mild Cognitive Impairment”. Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), USA, 23-24/9, online.

Shastri K, Marashi S, Boger J, Flora P, Astell A, Nedlund A-C, Karjalainen K, Mäki Petäjä Leinonen A, Nygård L. (2019). "Determining needs for technology for people with MCI/dementia at work: a human factors approach", Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), 24-28/6, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Heimonen S, Issakainen M, Nedlund A-C, Boger J, Astell A, Mäki Petäjä Leinonen A, Nygård L (2022). Applying a Solution-Focused Approach in Counseling for Working Aged People Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Young-Onset Dementia. The SFiO InterAction Collection 2022.

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