Housing and Dementia
- engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, to undertake a comprehensive review of the housing support available for people affected by dementia
- to produce an authoritative ‘landmark’ report providing information about gaps and opportunities, how the public and private sectors can contribute and how changes in policy and practice can support outcomes for people living with dementia and their carers
- to develop a prototype of an online knowledge hub for housing, health and social care teams, the private sector and people living with dementia and their carers, to demonstrate how research/knowledge can be put into action in order to transform the lives of people affected by dementia and those who support them
- to develop a set of recommendations to the public and private sector and the Scottish Government on the action and changes needed
- to organise a national housing and dementia summit for 200 people from across Scotland to share the learning, discuss funding opportunities to manage the online resource and discuss a national action plan to address gaps and opportunities
People living with dementia and their carers are vocal about the importance of being able to live in their own home for as long and as independently as possible. Many people who are empowered and supported to do so enjoy better mental and physical health, as they do not have to go through the stress of losing their homes and being moved to an unfamiliar environment. This is why we have invested in several housing-related projects.
In July 2015, the Life Changes Trust organized a very successful workshop to discuss the housing issues affecting people with dementia. Following on from this workshop, it was agreed that a housing and dementia focus group would be established to develop a housing and dementia proposal, which would be considered for funding by the Life Changes Trust’s Dementia Programme Committee.
Amanda Britain, internationally recognised expert on Housing and Dementia (advisor to the Scottish Government and to the Trust), presented a discussion paper at the first focus group meeting to set an agenda for progress.
At the workshop, key issues were identified as well as a number of related issues:
- The Scottish Government has still not fully recognised the crucial role of good housing and a good home environment for people living with dementia - the emphasis is still on health and social care. There is a distinct lack of investment in drawing together understanding and expertise, and sharing it across Scotland so that everyone is “on the same page”. One workshop attendee said “we need to hit the re-start button…draw a line in the sand and start from there”.
- People who work in the housing sector, including private landlords, are uncertain about how to handle the growing numbers of people with dementia whom they encounter on a day-to-day basis; they do not know how to provide the best service and lack tools to help them do so.
The proposal for funding was developed by the focus group and agreed by the Life Changes Trust.
Trust funding will be used to design and specify a knowledge hub for housing, health and social care teams and the private sector which would be shaped by a comprehensive review of current activity, best practice and experience and engagement with a wide range of interests.
The project will involve working with the Scottish Dementia Working Group, Trust funded dementia friendly communities, DEEP groups (once established in Scotland) and other key stakeholders. It will develop a prototype to demonstrate how research/knowledge can be put into action in order to transform the lives of people affected by dementia and those who support them.
One of the key aims of the project was to produce an authoritative ‘landmark’ report - a comprehensive overview of the current housing situation for people affected by dementia including the existing range of housing services, support and options, together with potential solutions.
Another key aim of the project was to organise a national housing and dementia summit for people from across Scotland to share the learning, discuss funding opportunities to manage the online resource and discuss a national action plan to address gaps and opportunities. The event involved three presentations. The first presentation, 'Being Home', was from Dr Margaret Brown and Steve Tolson from the University of the West of Scotland.
The second presentation, 'Dementia Pathways', was from Donna Milton from Arneil Johnston, a housing consultancy and the third presentation, 'Design for Dementia' was from Bill Halsall and Dr Robert McDonald from architectural firm Halsall Lloyd Partnership, and Liverpool John Moore's University, respectively. Click on the presentations below to download and read them.
There were also presentations from Maureen and James McKillop and from Stewart and Grace Burrows. James and Stewart both live with dementia and both couples gave valuable insights into housing provision from the perspective of families living with dementia, and how important it is to remain in your own community, where you know people and where you may have lived for many years - your home.
Outcomes we'd like to see
- For people affected by dementia: People affected by dementia will better informed about their housing choices and be able to take decisions and plan their future.
- For housing organisations and private providers of housing: Housing Staff are better informed and are better able to support people affected by dementia to live safely and independently at home.
Awardee Website: http://www.careandrepairscotland.co.uk/