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How should social housing providers respond to dementia

An article written by IPC Senior Consultant Juliet Bligh explores the wider implications of the lessons learned from a project undertaken with the Guinness Partnership to review how it supports people with dementia.

The project involved the development of a framework to assess how dementia friendly the organisation was across all of its services and this new article, published in Working with Older People (Vol. 20 Iss: 3, pp.144 – 150), considers the implications for the social housing sector more widely.

The key messages are:

  • Many older people with dementia or who may develop dementia will be living in non-specialist housing, so this research will be of relevance to general needs housing providers, as well as specialist providers of housing for older people.
  • Many traditional landlord services have the potential to become dementia-friendly and enhance the quality of life of residents, often by creating a more generally customer-friendly approach which recognises and responds to individual needs and circumstances.
  • Providers need to better understand the type of contact they have with their residents and how its design could be improved.  This is likely to focus on responsive maintenance and other buildings related services, as well as the way information is provided to residents.
  • Organisational cultures and systems need to be considered in any service redesign, as well as working co-productively with residents and staff.
  • Providers need to build collaborative partnerships with other community based and statutory services, particularly those that specialise in providing dementia services.

 

For further information about this work or the other support and guidance IPC can provide in commissioning or developing housing for older people, please contact Juliet Bligh at ipc@brookes.ac.uk.

You can find a range of reports written by IPC in our publications resource which address issues around housing for older people and dementia.