Dementia-friendly housing charter
Guidance on delivering a dementia-friendly approach to housing
People with dementia face a range of challenges. These may include memory loss or difficulty communicating, mobility and navigation issues and other associated problems. Across every part of the housing sector, organisations can make a valuable contribution to supporting people with dementia facing these challenges.
To hear more about this and to inform this charter we consulted with people living with dementia from five Alzheimer’s Society service user review panels (SURPs) on issues regarding housing. We asked the following three questions to prompt discussions:
1. What would you like to see in a housing charter?
2. What actions would you like the housing sector to take?
3. What difficulties do you have in relation to housing? What difficulties do you worry you might have in the future?
Further details on the feedback from the SURP groups are included in Appendix 1 but the following subjects and examples show the range of issues discussed:
■ location – the importance of familiarity
■ design – colour and layout
■ technology – alarms, sensor and lights
■ accessibility – the importance of local amenities
■ signage – clarity and appropriateness
■ dementia awareness training for housing staff and planners
■ opportunities for social interaction
■ adaptability as needs change
■ loneliness and isolation.
Hearing directly from people with dementia highlights the scale of this issue. However, their insight also shows how sometimes small changes can make a significant difference. This charter covers areas from all stages and aspects of housing. It includes case studies and instructions on how to sign up to the charter.
The range of issues identified above shows that there is a role for all housing professionals to influence and create a better living environment for people with dementia.Their personal examples are testament to how important this is.