An update from the DemECH project

The DemECH project, funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research School for Social Care Research, is exploring how Extra Care Housing can support people to live well with dementia. Over a fifth of those living in Extra Care Housing have dementia, a number that is likely to increase as the prevalence of dementia continues to increase and people are being diagnosed at a younger age.

The DemECH logo, which is a purple outline of a house with the word DemECH underneath, all within a circle

Previous studies have highlighted some key features of Extra Care Housing that can help people with dementia including dementia friendly design, having flexible care available, good use of technology, and lots of opportunities for social activities. However, everyone has a different experience of dementia and little is known about what model of extra care housing works for whom.

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An update from DemECH

Four months into the DemECH project and our team have been busy navigating their way through various project milestones. This week’s blog follows the team through the first period of their NIHR-funded project…

What is DemECH?

DemECH is a project looking at the experiences of living with dementia in Extra Care Housing (ECH). ECH is a model of housing with care for older people that promotes independent living with the option to take up flexible support as required. Living in ECH involves living in your own self-contained flat or apartment within a larger complex that usually contains a range of shared facilities, such as a shop, café, garden and hairdresser. Care can be provided onsite and can respond flexibly to changing levels of care and support needs.

Circular DemECH logo featuring a stylised image of a house
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HDRC Webinar, 21st September 2021

the HDRC logo

Thanks to Dr Julie Barrett, Research Coordinator for the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC) for this week’s blog.

What does “build back better” mean for people living with dementia in extra care and retirement housing in the UK?

three images showing older people in an extra care setting

In its second webinar of 2021 the HDRC and guest presenters explored how extra care and retirement housing needs to change and prepare for the future with respect to residents living with dementia, bearing in mind Covid-19 is not going away and will not be the last pandemic we experience.

The 2021 All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report ‘Housing for people with dementia – are we ready?’ states:

“The restrictions imposed in response to Covid-19 have highlighted existing challenges to housing providers. Many people affected by dementia have reported deterioration of their condition, but also an increased reticence to move to a care or nursing home. Creative solutions have been adopted by housing providers, often as a result of the property services, housing management and care teams working together. These examples of best practice need to be shared across the sectors.”

According to the World Economic Forum, Covid-19 is not an aberration. It is in fact part of a pattern of increasingly frequent epidemics, thus it is vital that we share good practice now, during the current epidemic, in order to reduce future risk.

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Bridging the Gap: Supporting People Living With Dementia Beyond Loneliness

This week’s blog post is an HDRC ‘voice of the members’ blog written by Michael Roberts, Engaged Lives Project Officer at the ExtraCare Charitable Trust. The organisation is a provider of Extra Care Housing Schemes and Retirement Villages and is a member of the HDRC steering group.

Dementia and Loneliness – What’s the link?

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Supporting People Living with Dementia in Extra Care Housing

We have just started a really exciting new project! So what’s it all about? Let’s hear from the project team and find out.

The Project

We are interested in finding out more about how the different models of Extra Care Housing support people living with dementia.

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