Housing 'has critical role' in addressing dementia as new Scottish cases forecast to reach almost 20,000 by 2020
The housing sector has a critical role to play in meeting the needs of people living with dementia as the number of individuals diagnosed with the condition annually is predicted to rise to 19,473 by 2020.
This is a key conclusion of research findings released today (Wednesday, 15th March 2017) at the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland’s annual conference in Glasgow.
Commissioned by CIH Scotland to give a better understanding of the contribution that housing staff and services can make to those living with dementia, the research findings have been unveiled as the Scottish Government predicts that the number of newly diagnosed cases of dementia will increase from 16,172 in 2014 to 19,473 in 2020 – a rise of 17%.
Entitled “Dementia Pathways – Housing’s Role”, the study was carried out by housing consultancy Arneil Johnston as the second phase of CIH Scotland’s housing and dementia programme. It includes an extensive survey which found that, despite existing gaps in the knowledge and skills required, an overwhelming majority of housing professionals felt that they have an important role to play in supporting people with dementia.
A total of 385 housing professionals took part in the survey as part of the study. 78% of respondents agreed that housing workers have an important role to play in relation to people with dementia, while 81% thought they had a role in recognising changes in normal patterns of behaviour and signposting to services that improve wellbeing. Only 3% didn’t think that housing has a key role to play in relation to people with dementia.
The study identifies an important role for housing staff and services at four key stages of an individual’s dementia journey. These are:
- Assisting and supporting early diagnosis;
- Early assessment of the suitability of the home of someone living with dementia;
- Enabling a person with dementia to remain at or return home quickly; and
- Ensuring holistic consideration of assistance and support as dementia progresses.
“Dementia Pathways – Housing’s Role” concludes by setting out a series of key recommendations for stakeholders including the Scottish Government, local authorities, housing providers, health and social care partnerships and CIH Scotland itself. The aim of these recommendations is to promote and develop the role of housing in dementia care and to ensure that the housing profession is equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfil that role.
Key recommendations include:
- Integrating dementia-friendly housing design principles into housing investment programmes and asset management strategies;
- Ensuring timely provision of adaptations, repairs and support to maintain independent living;
- Ensuring dementia awareness, training and skills development is prioritised across every aspect of housing services;
- Developing a process and protocol for sharing information about people with dementia across public services and the third and voluntary sectors involved in dementia care;
- Identifying housing interventions for people living with dementia who are homeowners or private renters, including adaptations, repairs and support to maintain independent living.
Commenting on the release of the research findings, CIH Scotland Deputy Director Marian Reid said:
“As an organisation, CIH Scotland is committed to working with our members and other stakeholders to ensure the housing sector is properly equipped to be able to meet the societal challenges of an ageing population.
“Dementia Pathways – Housing’s Role is a significant piece of research that highlights the critical role of housing professionals in meeting the needs of those living with dementia. At a time when the number of people diagnosed with dementia continues to grow year-on-year, it shows that most housing professionals also recognise the important role they have to play in meeting the needs of people living with dementia. Crucially, the findings include a series of practical recommendations that should help ensure the housing sector has the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to fulfil that role properly in the future.”
Notes to Editors
1. Further information about “Dementia Pathways – Housing’s Role” can be found at http://www.cih.org/resources/PDF/Scotland%20Policy%20Pdfs/Dementia/Dementia%20Research%20Findings%20Complete%20FINAL.pdf
2. On 13th December 2016, the Scottish Government published “Estimated and Projected Diagnosis Rates for Dementia in Scotland 2014-2020”: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0051/00511467.pdf
3. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at www.cih.org
4. Established in 1996, Arneil Johnston is a leading housing consultancy in Scotland with a wealth of experience in developing practical, innovative solutions for its clients. It is a reputable, talented and diverse team with extensive experience in all aspects of social housing delivery. The company was established with the aim of providing quality consultancy services in housing, finance and ICT to the public sector in Scotland. It provides support to local and central government, Registered Social Landlords and other statutory and voluntary agencies. Further information is available at www.arneil-johnston.co.uk
5. For further information, please contact: Alex Bruce at Orbit Communications on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 603 8996 / 07747 636504.