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Opinion: Dementia Awareness – housing takes a lead

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Opinion: Dementia Awareness – housing takes a lead

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Health and also in Communities, Housing

'Morally wrong' to deny dementia patients support - report 'Morally wrong' to deny dementia patients support - report

By Vic Rayner, chief executive, Sitra

The word is spreading fast about Living Well with Dementia – there are a plethora of initiatives going on across the country as part of Dementia Awareness Week (#DAW2014) and a strong focus on the Alzheimers Society Dementia Friends initiative – particularly through their media campaign.

So how is housing taking up the challenge? There has been some excellent work over recent years developing an understanding and implementation of the impact of the built environment on those living with and caring for those with dementia.

A great starting point is the excellent resources developed and disseminated by the Housing LIN on this area. In addition, the role of supporting those with dementia to continue to live independently in the community presents a strong opportunity for housing related support services to take a lead in developing and adapting their services to meet this need.

However, research just launched this week by the Dementia and Housing group shows that much of the training available to support the sector in taking a proactive role in this field is not tailored enough to the needs of housing.

Sitra have been concerned about this for some time, and to that end have formed a unique partnership to support change. The learning partnership combines the strength, knowledge and networks of three organisations. Association for Dementia Studies, a national and international centre of excellence in training, education and research in dementia studies; Sitra with its expertise in housing related support; together with theHousing LIN, the knowledge hub for housing, health and social care professionals in England involved in housing with care for older people.

The two programmes we have developed are ‘The Strategic Leaders Programme’ and ‘The Scheme Managers Programme’. These are fantastic action learning based opportunities to equip participants with a sound understanding of dementia and person centred practice; access to the latest best practice in housing and dementia support; together with practical tools and resources with which to lead and influence change within your organisation.

The development of these courses have been supported by DCLG, and this first set of events are part of a pilot in the West Midlands, enabling us to keep costs as low as possible. For full details and booking you can go to http://www.sitra.org/training/dementia-leaders-programme-for-the-housing-sector/

Finally, another great opportunity for housing to take the lead in Living Well with Dementia is to get on board with the Dementia 4 Schools programme. Anyone attending our #changemakers conference will have heard the challenge to housing from Angela Rippon, the champion of Dementia 4 Schools. There are great opportunities for housing associations and support providers to take a lead in connecting with schools and for accommodation based services to think about the potential to join in with the National Care Home Open Day on 20th June 2014.

We would love to showcase more of the sectors work on dementia – so do keep in touch and let us know what you are doing to take the lead.

For info

Dementia leaders programme for the housing sector

The Strategic Leaders Programme will run for two days with a half day follow up and is aimed at senior leaders working within the housing sector. The dates are Tuesday 22ndJuly and Wednesday 23rd July 2014 with the follow up half day on Thursday 18th September (9-45am to 1-00pm).  The venue will be Birmingham (location to be confirmed).

The Scheme Managers Programme will run for four days as an action learning set with a break for reflection to complete a course assignment. The course is aimed at managers with responsibility for running housing services for older people, including general needs housing. The dates are Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th September and Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd October 2014. The venue will be Birmingham Voluntary Services Centre in central Birmingham.

 

This article first appeared here.

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