This blog post provides a brief overview of the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC), which has been hosted by the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) since 2014. If you would like to join the network, want further information, or have any queries please feel free to get in touch with the HDRC Research Coordinator Dr Julie Barrett.
What is the HDRC?
It is a group of around 50 organisations and individuals with a common commitment to find out ‘what works’ for people living with dementia in housing and care settings. They do this through participating in a variety of research and knowledge exchange activities aimed at building a stronger evidence base in this area.
While most members are housing providers or commissioners, other members include academics, architects, consultants, policy makers and third sector organisations.
How could it help me?
Being part of such a broad consortium can be beneficial when seeking research funding, and provides opportunities to share and implement research findings across a range of housing settings. It also means that housing providers, and indeed their service users, can become more active research partners who have a greater say in deciding what the research priorities should be.
The HDRC can also provide support to housing providers around a number of areas including:
- Developing a dementia strategy
- Creating a dementia-friendly community
- Providing access to a network of dementia research expertise
- Helping with preparing funding applications
An annual HDRC conference is also held for members, with each year focusing on a different topic or common theme.
How has it helped ADS?
Hosting the HDRC has been beneficial for ADS on a number of projects as it provides access to a network of potential research participants and provides a network for sharing research findings. This makes it easier to get feedback when developing research bids, reach a wider audience when conducting surveys as part of research projects, and identify care settings for case study work.
One example of this was our recent Green Dementia Care Project which involved an online survey to explore current practice around how care homes and extra care housing schemes enable people with dementia to engage with nature. During the pilot phase the survey was reviewed by members of the HDRC Steering Group to ensure it was fit for purpose and used language appropriate for the target audience. The survey was also disseminated through the HDRC membership email network, helping to increase the reach of the survey and boost the response rate.
This type of assistance ensures that the research we do is more representative of the wider care home and extra care housing population, and provides a means of enabling people’s voices and views to be heard.
More information about the HDRC can be found on their website.
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