Ashley Campbell: A new Framework for supporting people living with dementia
CIH Scotland’s policy and practice manager Ashley Campbell, outlines a new framework, developed in partnership with CIH Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s ihub and Alzheimer Scotland, which aims to help housing organisations record the work they are already doing to support people living with dementia and identify areas where they need to do more.
It is estimated that 90,000 people in Scotland are living with dementia and this number is expected to increase significantly as our population continues to age.
The majority of people diagnosed with dementia are living in their own homes and many just need some support to be able to stay there, living well for many years to come. So, what is the role of the housing sector in helping people to live well with dementia?
This is the question that sparked the second phase of CIH Scotland’s Housing and Dementia project. In 2016 housing consultant Arneil Johnston was commissioned to map out the ways in which housing services and frontline staff can better recognise and meet the needs of people living with dementia. The work identified four key housing pathways:
- Assisting and supporting early diagnosis.
- Assessing whether the home environment is suitable.
- Helping a person affected by dementia to remain at home or return home quickly.
- Ensuring holistic assistance and support as dementia progresses.
The research findings and practice guide that were developed include recommendations and useful case studies and are available on the CIH Scotland website.
Following on from this, CIH Scotland has been working in partnership with Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s ihub and Alzheimer Scotland to develop a Housing and Dementia Framework, a practical tool to help housing organisations record the work they are already doing to support people living with dementia and identify areas where they need to do more.
The Framework will set out the outcomes that people living with dementia have told us they would like to experience and a range of commitments that housing organisations should be achieving or working towards in order to meet these outcomes.
The Framework is voluntary and flexible. It will include examples of the types of activity that could be used to meet each commitment, but we realise that what’s right for one organisation and its residents might not be right for another. Ultimately, the approach taken by each organisation should be informed by local residents, people who are living with dementia, their families and carers.
We want organisations to sign up to the Framework and make a commitment to provide the best support possible for their residents and their communities. We want the Framework to be used as a tool for identifying the contribution that housing is already making to supporting people to live well with dementia and to create a network for sharing and improving practice.
The Framework is due to be launched in September and we will be organising a practice based event for late October where we plan to explore how the Framework is working in practice and showcase a range of examples and ideas from across Scotland. More details will be published soon but if you’d like to be kept up to date with the project please get in touch with Ashley Campbell, policy and practice manager at CIH Scotland: firstname.lastname@example.org.