Not enough is done by housing associations to help those with dementia

  • Orbit Charitable Trust have conducted a survey and found that only 8% of housing associations that they surveyed have a dementia strategy in place.

    The Orbit Charitable Trust, a nationwide charitiy that helps and supports vulnerable people, began a research project that looked into small housing association. They surveyed 300 associations and of the 88 respondents only 8% had a dementia strategy in place. Chairman David Hucker described the findings as "very worrying". With the amount of people with the condition growing, more housing groups should have something in place to help people suffering cope.

    The survey found that 63% of housing associations did not have a dementia strategy drawn up. 24% of those said that they didn't need one whilst another 24% said that a strategy was being developed. Many of the housing groups said that they haven't considered a separate dementia strategy because of the size of their organisation. Some said that they dealt with each case on an individual basis whilst another said that dementia came under its older people's strategy.

    Jermey Porteus, director of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network and chair of the Homes and Communities Agency's vulnerable and older people's advisory group says: "I've spent 25 years working in housing for older people, so I wasn't surprised with the headline findings, although I was surprised to find that not more has been put in place.

    "Over the past year we have been greatly helped to a high level by the prime minister's dementia challenge because it has captured people's imaginations. The key now is to use the survey findings in a pro-active way to help housing organisations build a strategy to adapt and develop ways of supporting people with dementia."

    Hucker believes that housing associations should work more closely with specialist agencies like Age UK to ensure that appropriate provisions are in place to support people living with dementia.

    Mr Hucker said: ‘Dementia is a ticking time bomb and we have to do everything we can to make sure that housing providers have adequate provision in place to provide for the needs of people who are living with the condition.'

    Nine of the associations surveyed have volunteered to work with OCT to assess what would work well and where there are gaps that need filling, to create strategies to help those with dementia.

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