Prevalence of Dementia in Extra Care Housing settings in the UK

This week’s blog post is written by Dr Julie Barrett, HDRC Research Coordinator. Over to Julie:

HDRC logo

In my role as the Research Coordinator of the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC) the question that I get asked the most is ‘What is the proportion of people living with dementia among the residents in extra care housing?’ Until now I have not been able to answer this question with any certainty, largely because comprehensive prevalence data across multiple housing providers had never been gathered. Estimates were available. A Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) study of those moving to extra care schemes found, on average, 37% had a form of cognitive impairment, including people with mild cognitive impairment as well as those with dementia (Darton et al., 2012). The study estimated that 3.1% of residents had severe cognitive impairment. The Alzheimer’s Society estimated that 8.1% of extra care housing residents are living with dementia (Prince et al, 2014). The authors noted a caution about this estimate as although it is above the level proposed by Darton et al (2012), it is well under what might be expected from an average population.

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The great outdoors – the importance of engaging with nature

During lockdown we, like many others, have gained a new appreciation for the importance of being able to get out and about and engage with nature from both a leisure and exercise perspective, and the role nature has on our physical and mental health. However, this is something we’ve been interested in for a while at ADS, particularly in terms of opportunities for people with dementia to get outside or connect with nature in some way. To this end, this blog brings together a few of our previous projects in one place and summarises some of their key findings.

The photos used within this blog are not from specific projects but hopefully they will make you smile and give you a dose of nature for today.

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Connections with nature for people living with dementia – new article around green dementia care

We’ve recently had an article published in the Working with Older People journal relating to a project we carried out with the Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC) around green dementia care. Although the article provides a lot more information, we thought we’d give you an overview here, especially as not everyone knows much about green dementia care.

Housing and Dementia Research Consortium logo

What is green dementia care?

Green dementia care, or nature-based dementia care, refers to indoor and outdoor experiences and activities that aim to promote health and wellbeing through interaction with nature for people living with dementia. However, many people living with dementia in care homes or extra care housing have limited opportunities to connect with the natural world, often due to organisational concerns about safety and security and outdoor spaces that are not fully accessible.

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