This thesis is based on the belief that the functioning and quality of life of persons with dementia has the potential to improve in an environment where autonomy and independence are fostered within the abilities of the individual and the limitations of their disability. The thesis draws on critical theory to formulate a comprehensive framework aimed at empowering workers and caregivers to improve the quality of life for people with dementia living in residential facilities or at home. The thesis then shows how this critical approach can be applied in practice. Two surveys were conducted. The first, examined whether workers were able to implement changes in residential facilities following an educational programme. The second evaluated the usefulness of a booklet produced for family caregivers on choosing residential care for their loved ones. The thesis examines the policy implications and concludes with recommendations directed at policy makers and managers, which, if adopted, would provide the best quality of care for people with dementia.