Alzheimer Scotland now has 22 Dementia Resource Centres (DRCs) across Scotland with our newest centre in Alloa officially opening on 1 June – the first of our centres to have a brain health hub. We know so much more nowadays about what impacts brain health, and we know our risk of developing the diseases which can lead to dementia is driven by many different factors. Some of these things we can't change, such as our family history, but there are many we can, such as areas of lifestyle. The Brain Health & Dementia Resource Centre in Alloa has a drop in facility for people to find out more about reducing risks and getting support. The first Dementia Resource Centre that we opened was based in Helensburgh, although in a different site to our current Centre there. This paved the way for future Centres in Scotland. 


Our Centres are designed to provide a friendly, welcoming and accessible environment for people with dementia, their families and carers. From popping in for information, advice or support, to accessing our day care services and groups - our staff and volunteers are there to help you. 
Following the principles of dementia friendly design, they strive to create a local feel, building a sense of homeliness which we know is important in helping people to feel at ease.

DRC pattern
Pattern design based on Arbroath, Angus landmarks & architecture

design 2

Inside of Stranraer DRC
Stranraer Dementia Resource Centre

There are many things we take into consideration when we are designing the Centres. The challenges that people with dementia have with their environment are similar to all of us, but a bit more exaggerated. Confusing and stressful environments are heightened for people living with dementia. Older people with dementia can often have other physical challenges (poor vision, impaired mobility, poor hearing) and this can exacerbate stress. Specifically, we take care to avoid complicated pattern and colour mixes, avoid complicated changes of direction and too many choices (like doors). We also consider sound, light, and contrast as part of the sensory mix.


Like everywhere else, when the Covid pandemic hit in 2020, our Centres had to close their doors. As the restrictions started to ease, there was an opportunity to review and remodel our day care services. Shorter sessions for smaller numbers of people meant that our day care could now offer a more person centred, therapeutic approach. Our frontline staff’s knowledge meant that they could identify people with shared interests or friendships and could form groups based on this. 

cup of tea


ODRC snow day
Outdoor Dementia Resource Centre

In the last couple of years, we have diverged from the more traditional model of a Dementia Resource Centre, to offer the following:  

Our Outdoor DRC based at Badaguish in Aviemore will offer a programme of outdoor based therapeutic activities, enabling people to enjoy and explore the outdoor environment. Ideal for those who don’t always get the opportunity to enjoy nature.  

Our Virtual Resource Centre (VRC) was launched in September 2021. It offers online access to many of the resources of a traditional Dementia Resource Centre, without the constraints of distance, travel and opening times.  

Our Dementia Resource Centres have made such a difference to so many people’s lives. 

“My wife looked up the number for the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre and the next day a Dementia Advisor came and spent a bit of time with us. She gave us so much information and told me about the different activities I could get involved with, such as the allotment project or the Every Voice Choir. I don’t have the best voice but going along lifts my mood and my spirits. You know you are among friends.” – Danny