What is the HDRC and why might you want to join?

This week’s blog comes from Dr Julie Barrett, Research Coordinator for the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC). Over to you Julie…

The HDRC logo and an image of a housing scheme

Dementia is a major challenge for all of us and has escalated in importance on the public policy agenda. With the right support and early diagnosis people living with dementia can have a good quality of life. We know housing is a major part of the solution to living independently for longer, however, the evidence base on housing issues is limited.

Who are we?

The HDRC was founded in 2008 to address the evidence gap and is now the largest UK network of organisations and individuals specifically committed to research into accommodation and care for people with dementia.

The HDRC currently has around 70 members, about half of which are providers and commissioners of accommodation and care for older people. The rest are other interested parties including university researchers, architects, assistive technology providers, health and social care providers, independent consultants and representatives from third sector organisations.

Hosted by the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) at the University of Worcester, the HDRC is led by a Steering Group currently comprising five well-established accommodation and care providers: Anchor Hanover; ExtraCare Charitable Trust; Hallmark Care Homes; Housing 21 and Platform Housing. The Alzheimer’s Society and the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN) are also represented, as is ADS.

Logos for the Steering Group members and the other organisations mentioned.

What are our aims?

The HDRC aims to achieve high quality research focused on ‘what works’ in terms of the way services and environments are designed for people living with dementia, in order to influence policy and practice in the UK and beyond.

We seek to do this by:

  • Shaping the agenda for research into accommodation and care to ensure its relevance and usefulness to all stakeholders.
  • Promoting a collaborative approach, thereby giving greater weight to research funding applications.
  • Delivering multi-provider, multi-site research in order to provide robust, targeted evidence.
  • Ensuring that accommodation and care providers, residents, and people who use services are active research partners.
  • Providing the evidence base to inform policy development in relation to housing and dementia.
  • Helping to disseminate findings and support the transfer of research into practice within housing settings.

We are continuously working on research proposals, together with university partners, for submission to appropriate funders or funding calls.

Decorative strip showing a mix of images of older people and coloured squares

How can the HDRC help you?

The HDRC is uniquely placed to understand the housing-related priorities of people living with dementia and their carers. We consult with our members, with people living with dementia in different housing settings, family carers and care staff in order to establish research priorities and provide an evidence base to guide the HDRC’s work.

The HDRC is well placed to understand the needs of the housing sector. Our work is shaped by our members and steering group, which include some of the largest, most innovative and well-respected housing providers in the UK.

Members benefit from:

  • Participation in a network of diverse professionals with a common interest.
  • Access to a dedicated website with findings from in-house research, externally funded research and evaluations from member organisations.
  • Attendance at network events to shape priorities, share knowledge and learn from others.

Recent research

  • Provisions for people living with dementia in Extra Care Housing settings in the UK, 2020.
  • Prevalence of Dementia in Extra Care Housing in the UK, 2020.
  • All those who wander are not lost: Walking with purpose in Extra Care, Retirement and Domestic Housing, 2019.
  • Green dementia care in accommodation and care settings – opportunities, barriers and good practice, 2018.

Click here to see publications based on this research.

Three images showing older people engaging in activities such as gardening and chatting to others

Recent webinars and conferences

  • What does “build back better” mean for people living with dementia in extra care and retirement housing? 21st September 2021.
  • Best practice in running intergenerational programmes, 26th January 2021.
  • Exploring issues relating to housing and care provision for LGBTQ older people and people living with dementia, 8th June 2020.
  • Responding to walking with purpose and distress in extra care housing, 27th April 2020.
  • Assistive technology for people living with dementia: the aspirational and the achievable, 23rd May 2019.
  • Natural Connections: innovative approaches to green care for people living with dementia, 26th April 2018.
Decorative strip showing a mix of images of older people and coloured squares - different to the earlier image

Would you like to join us?

A consortium is only as effective as its membership. We welcome accommodation and care providers and other interested parties to become members and support our work. Membership is free.

Joining the Steering Group requires a financial commitment but gives you more say in the priorities and activities of the HDRC. Please click here to join the HDRC.

For more information, please contact Dr Julie Barrett, HDRC Research Coordinator, at the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester or visit the HDRC website.

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

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