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A new practice framework to help housing organisations meet the needs of people living with dementia

Guest author, James Battye, from the Healthcare Improvement Scotland (ihub), introduces the Housing and Dementia Practice Framework, a practical tool to assist housing organisations in supporting people living with dementia. 

There are around 90,000 people in Scotland currently living with dementia, and this number is expected to increase significantly as our population continues to age.

Ensuring that the housing needs of people living with dementia are met is critical given that the majority of people living with dementia live in their own homes (estimates put this at around 65%, with the remainder either in hospital or care homes).

Further, enabling people to remain at home or in a homely setting for as long as possible is a key aim across health and social care. This means that housing organisations play an important role in supporting people living with dementia to live well at home for as long as possible.

The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland has already carried out work in this area through the Housing and Dementia project. This outlined the various ways in which housing organisations can better recognise and meet the needs of people living with dementia, including:

  1. Assisting and supporting early diagnosis.
  2. Assessing whether the home environment is suitable.
  3. Helping a person affected by dementia to remain at home or return home quickly.
  4. Ensuring holistic assistance and support as dementia progresses.

There is accompanying practice guidance for the housing sector for each of these pathways, as well as an assessment of where the housing sector is in terms of the support it provides for people living with dementia. This work was complemented by the University of the West of Scotland’s Being Home report published by the Life Changes Trust which, among other things, called for a greater appreciation of housing’s role in supporting people with dementia across practice and policy.

To further support housing organisations capture and improve what they are doing to support people living with dementia and their carers Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s ihub, CIH Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland came together to develop the Housing and Dementia Practice Framework. The Framework is a practical tool to assist housing organisations in identifying how they currently support people living with dementia and how they can build on this.

The Framework is built around five outcomes developed in partnership with housing organisations and people living with dementia. The outcomes are accompanied by eleven practical commitments that housing organisations can work towards. Both the outcomes and commitments can be easily applied through a self-assessment framework.

The framework is voluntary and flexible meaning that the resource will be of value to a wide range of housing organisations at various points in the journey in relation to how they support people living with dementia and their carers. Importantly, as we know that people living dementia live in all tenures, it is aimed at a wide range of housing organisations – including social landlords, private landlords and letting agents and care and repair organisations.

The framework was launched at an event in central Edinburgh and so far 17 housing organisations have signed up to use the resource. We are currently encouraging housing organisations to sign up to use the framework to show their commitment to the housing and dementia work. This will also help us identify what further support housing organisations need to review and improve how they support people living with dementia.

You can download the framework and the supporting resources from CIH Scotland website.

James Battye is Associate Improvement Advisor for Healthcare Improvement Scotland (ihub).

If you would like further information or support in relation to the framework please contact email james.battye1@nhs.net.

Views expressed by authors may not represent the views of CaCHE.

 
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Date: December 9, 2019 2:43 pm

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