FENDT-NEWLIN Meredith, et al
Reports on an evidence review to explore the role of UK housing interventions in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of older people and their ability to live well at home. The review was commissioned by HACT and carried out by the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. Part one of the report looks at what is known about UK housing interventions that aim to promote mental health and wellbeing among older people. It provides a description of the evidence and the implications for practice and commissioning under the following themes: Identification, diagnosis and management of symptoms; Environments; and Reducing social isolation and loneliness. Part two explores questions around integration and how health, housing and social care agencies are working together to support older people’s mental wellbeing. It identifies some of the barriers to effective collaboration and looks at how these might be overcome. Three key messages emerged from the review of the evidence: the need for people working in service planning and commissioning to include housing needs in the integration debate; the importance of relationships between managers and practitioners from different sectors at a local level; and the need to take a UK perspective in order to share innovation in social housing happening in different parts of the country.
The report addresses the future housing needs of older people and the role of housing associations in providing supported accommodation and care. It examines these challenges over the medium term investment horizon to the 2030's. In particular, it explores what the older population will be like at that time, what housing association boards should be thinking about now, and what the sector and government need to do to realise the opportunities and manage the risks associated with older people's housing. The report also considers how the links between housing, health and social care can be improved, and asks if housing providers understand the expectations and aspirations of their tenants as they grow older. The report is based on published official statistics, a survey of social landlords, a round table discussion with social landlord executives and a literature review. The findings suggest that housing associations need to understand their older customers better, be clear about the implications of population ageing for their existing stock and new build housing, and to develop services which emphasise the promotion of personal, social and economic wellbeing.
RISEBOROUGH Moyra, JONES Adrian
This report presents the main findings from a collaborative evaluation over a year with four small housing associations who decided in 2013 to work towards becoming dementia friendly organisations. The report illustrates the changes the associations made and gives their reasons for making those changes. It describes detailed experiences of the small housing associations, reflecting on their starting points and examining the methods they used to establish dementia friendly housing organisations. The report looks at the reasons why leaders and key staff decided to invest time and energy into becoming dementia friendly housing organisations. It also looks at the reasons why training was so important and at how the organisations started to change their practices, processes and policies. Drawing on a variety of measures to compare and contrast the work of the associations against, the report concludes with an overall evaluation, showing that through a mix of pragmatism and planning the housing associations were able to make deep changes.