Responding to walking with purpose and distress in extra care housing

Logos for HDRC, Housing 21 and ExtraCare Charitable Trust

On 27th April, 2020, the HDRC hosted a webinar the aim of which was to share research and best practice in managing and responding to walking with purpose and distress among people living with dementia in extra care housing.

Image of frst slide from event

Between 130 and 150 people joined the webinar that presented recent work that the HDRC steering group had conducted on understanding and responding to walking with purpose and distress among people living with dementia in extra care housing.

In the first presentation Dr Julie Barrett (HDRC Research Coordinator at the Association for Dementia Studies) described a mixed-methods study she conducted for the housing provider, Housing 21, who wanted to understand and better support residents living with dementia who engage in walking with purpose in their extra care and retirement housing schemes.

Image of slide for "not all those who wander are lost"

She gave an overview of the study background, aims, design and methods and highlights from the survey, case studies and resulting recommendations before handing over to Dr Vanessa Pritchard-Wilkes (Head of Strategic Engagement at Housing 21) who spoke about how Housing 21 are turning the findings of this research into practice.

Slide showing Housing 21 actions

Julie and Vanessa presented about this study at the British Society for Gerontology conference in Liverpool in July 2019, which was covered in a previous blog by the HDRC (see the September 2019 entry). The full report on the study can be found on the HDRC website.

Michael Spellman, the Dementia and Wellbeing Lead at The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, took over to speak about the organisation’s guidance for its staff on responding to distress among residents living with dementia in their extra care housing schemes and villages.

Image of flyer showing overview of what presented

This was part of the work that The ExtraCare Charitable Trust conducted with Cruse Bereavement Care to develop guidance to support staff in responding to residents living with dementia, long-term and short-term mental health conditions, and residents who may experience confusion and distress leading to behaviour described as ‘challenging’. Michael wrote a blog about this subject for a previous HDRC blog (see the August 2019 entry).

There then followed a Q&A session where the presenters answered questions that had been posted by the delegates during the presentations and delegates were invited to share their knowledge and experience.

Comments about the webinar, later received by email, were positive:

“I really enjoyed it and found it so useful.”

“Thanks for the excellent webinar yesterday –  I found it very interesting and useful.”

“Many thanks for the presentation. Very informative and helpful.”

“I thought the session today was really helpful and informative. Thank you.”

“What an excellent session today. Thank you very much.  I think this area is often overlooked and is seen as ‘problematic’ and needs addressing or dealing with rather than addressing the reasons behind this.  I feel all too often that the medical model is used rather than a social model, or combination approach.  I think education and increasing awareness is key, particularly for formal carers and family members.”

The slide shows from the webinar, a recording of the Q&A session at the end and additional related resources can be found on the HDRC website.

A future webinar by the HDRC is scheduled for 8th June focusing on ‘Exploring issues relating to housing and care provision for LGBTQ older people and people living with dementia’. More details can be found on the HDRC website.

You can follow the HDRC on twitter @HousingDementia

Connect with ADS on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow

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