Care and Repair Dementia Enablement Pilot Project

Award: £1,129,540
Timescale: February 2016 – July 2019

Project aims

  • to prioritise preventative and home safety work which makes sure people living with dementia are living in an independent but safe manner 
  • to provide enablement and adaptation work and to make the home more suited to the needs of people living with dementia 
  • to act as a conduit to inform and develop existing and new services and equipment for people living with dementia that can then be adopted by others and incorporated into future dementia provision for individuals and which can influence needs assessments in the future


The majority of older people live in their own homes and this is set to increase with people living longer and a focus on caring for people in the community.

While there has been significant research on new-build design for people living with dementia, there is not a vast amount of information about adapting existing stock.

People living with dementia can stay independent for longer at home given the correct support for themselves and their carer. 

People living with dementia are more likely to have falls or accidents in the home and therefore it is especially important to ensure that the home is safe and free from potential hazards at an early stage.

More Information

This funding will enable people living with dementia to be able to live safely in their own homes for as long as possible.

Why Care & Repair?

  • Care & Repair services have been assisting people to remain living independently within their own homes for over 30 years
  • they have existing relationships working with adaptations and telecare and facilitating hospital discharge
  • preventative work / home safety are a priority to Care and Repair
  • teams work across multi-disciplinary and departmental boundaries with Housing, Health & Social Care, Police, Fire and Rescue and voluntary organisations
  • staff skills combine building, housing and social care expertise 
  • Localities: Aberdeen – urban
  • Lochaber – very rural
  • Angus – mix of rural and urban

Dementia Enablement Project – what is it?

  • 3 areas in Scotland working with people who are living at home with dementia to improve their daily living by providing improvements, adaptations or alterations to their home
  • dementia trained, dedicated and skilled staff to discuss and agree works with the individual (and carer) which will enhance their life in their home and then carry them out
  • an early safety check to advise about any immediate changes and then an open opportunity to come back for additional works when needed at the individuals pace
  • close working with existing services such as Dementia Link workers, Telecare, Social Work and Health and Carers organisations to promote a joined up approach

Outcomes we'd like to see

  • people living with dementia and/or their carer(s) can contribute to designing a service which is provided in a timely, respectful and mutually agreed manner and suit the recipients’ needs, which helps retain independence, safety, security and activity in the home and the community
  • existing services will be informed and new services developed for design, adaptations and equipment to suit people living with dementia that can then be adopted by others and incorporated into future dementia provision for individuals and which can influence needs assessments in the future

Case study

Mr B was diagnosed with vascular dementia in September 2015.  He had not been out of the house since October. At the first visit, Mr B was very uncommunicative and sat mostly with his head down.  Alan from Care & Repair went through the enablement check and raised a few areas for improvement such as additional grab rails, brighter lights and he also discussed referral to the local Carers Centre to give extra support for Mr B’s wife and to assess for additional benefits (they were not receiving any).

Care & Repair offered coloured rails, suggested alterations to the kitchen and spoke about the busy decoration.  Mr & Mrs B also wanted the back garden tidied, a light at front door and for the council to fit new windows.  Care & Repair contacted the council and they are going to fit windows for them this year and the outside light soon, but unfortunately, they cannot do the garden.  However, Care & Repair has a   volunteer gardening service that Alan is liaising with and they can help.

Alan visited a week later to go through these developments with the couple. The council had already fitted the new security light for them.  He said that Mr B was completely different from before, sitting with his head up and more animated.

Care & Repair then scheduled fitting the daylight bulbs, thumb turn door locks and additional rails.

(names have been changed)

Additional Information

Awardee Website: