Dr. Alison Phinney's research takes a broad view of health to identify the capacities of older people for successfully coping with the functional consequences of aging and disease. She is exploring what can be done in partnership with families and communities to support frail older people both within and outside the traditional health care system. Much of her work has focused on people who are living with cognitive impairment due to a dementing illness (e.g. Alzheimer disease). Using qualitative methods, she examines how people with dementia and their families experience the impact of cognitive impairment on their everyday lives, how people with dementia cope through involvement in meaningful activity, and the role that families and communities play in supporting them.