In a research project where ten persons with dementia and their close families participated, the researcher explored how older people suffering from dementia could live meaningful lives. The aim of this article is to discuss some ethical considerations when persons with dementia are included in research, and to emphasize how to ensure their integrity and dignity. The qualitative research project involved fieldwork and interviews. Martinsen’s ontological situational ethics gave the basis for the discussion of the results. Affected memory and language contributed to vulnerability. Relatives contributed to trust and made it possible for persons to convey narratives about what had been meaningful to them throughout their lives. Individual considerations promoted dignity and integrity. It was necessary to apply discretion and have knowledge about dementia and communication to make the best of the ethical challenges that continuously arose.

Keywords: dementia, dignity, discretion, integrity, research ethics