The Contented Dementia Trust, formerly known as SPECAL, is an independent charitable organisation with an innovative approach to the care of people with dementia.


A world where a diagnosis of dementia is no longer viewed with fear

Our mission

To ensure that the person with dementia, and their carer, can lead as close an approximation to the life they would have wished to live without dementia
To ensure that the impact of the specific memory change experienced by people with dementia is clearly understood and taken into account in the design and planning of dementia services

Our values

Our practice-based approach is rooted in:

  • universal person-centred care
  • the subjective experience of dementia, as explained by the SPECAL Photograph Album
  • the need for fully individualised care which works positively with each person’s dementia as a key resource

We offer a different and highly effective way of managing the disease for the person with dementia, their family, and their carers.  This is known as the SPECAL method.

The SPECAL method is based on an unique understanding of what the experience of dementia is all about, from the perspective of the person with the condition.

We use a simple analogy – the SPECAL Photograph Album – to explain:

  • how normal memory works
  • what happens to all of us as we grow older
  • a single significant change that occurs with dementia

The SPECAL Photograph Album understanding of dementia enables carers to adapt their behaviour to take account of the dementia.

The SPECAL method sees dementia as a disability that can be managed with remarkable success, not as an irreversible medical condition to be defeated.

The Contented Dementia Trust provides a range of coursesadvice and information  based on the SPECAL Photograph Album understanding of dementia and the associated SPECAL method.

Carers who have adopted the SPECAL method are able to protect and sustain the quality of life of their loved ones in spite of the dementia.

Sustained well-being – 24 hours a day, every day, for life – is what the Contented Dementia Trust is about.

Find out how the SPECAL method works and share the personal experience of family carers.