Housing and support options for people with dementia
Dementia is the term used for a group of symptoms that can affect the memory and lead to mood changes and difficulties with communication and reasoning. There are different types of dementia. The most common is Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. It is a progressive condition which means the symptoms gradually get worse over time. It predominantly, but not exclusively, affects older people.
Early diagnosis can determine if drugs can help to delay the impact of the condition. It can also help people to live positively with dementia by considering their options in relation to their housing, care, support, health and general wellbeing. For relatives and carers this can be a difficult time and they will want to ensure that the person is able to be supported to make the best decisions for them as their condition develops. Knowing what is available is a good start.
This page provides links to the key resources available for those who support people with dementia to help them to consider if their home circumstances are suitable now and in the future. It is aimed for professionals and carers.
Care and Repair England has a guide called ‘Making your home a better place to live with dementia‘ which looks at what you can do to the home to manage changes better. It covers design issues, lighting and heating, safety and security, getting out and about and how to obtain help with repairs and adaptations. It also looks at alternative housing options.
Alzheimer’s Society has a great deal of resources on dementia including useful information on how to remain independent. Factsheets on a range of topics are available including home safety, technology, equipment and adaptations.
EAC/FirstStop has details of housing and care options for people with dementia via its Accommodation Directory and Services Directory. You can keyword search its library for useful titles by a range of authors and organisations, or start with these short FirstStop factsheets:
- Accommodation options for older people who have dementia
- Arrangements for making decisions for other people
Organisations for further advice
Alzheimer’s Society is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has a national helpline and local services providing information, care and support. In Scotland there is Alzheimer’s Scotland.
Dementia UK is a national charity, committed to improving quality of life for all people affected by dementia. It provides admiral nurses who offer specialist support for people with dementia in some parts of the country. It also runs a network of carers and has a national helpline.
Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone through its information and advice, services, campaigns, products, training and research. As well as a national advice service there is a network of local Age UK’s offering a range of local services, information, advice and support.
EAC/FirstStop Advice is a national charity that aims to help older people make informed choices about meeting their housing and care needs. It runs FirstStop Advice which is an independent, free telephone service offering advice and information to older people, their families and carers about housing and care options for later life. It also has the national database of housing, care homes and care and support options across the UK on this HousingCare website.
Care and Repair England is an independent charitable organisation which aims to improve older people’s housing. Its vision is that all older people have decent living conditions in a home of their own choosing. It has a series of guides on housing options for people with long term conditions and works with local agencies and older people’s groups to improve housing for older people.
Foundations is the national body for home improvement agency and handypersons services. Details of local Home Improvement Agencies which provide repairs, improvement and adaptation services can be found on the Foundations website, as can details of local Trusted Tradespeople and handypersons services.
Carers UK helps people who care for family or friends. It provides information and advice about caring alongside practical and emotional support for carers. It also campaigns to make life better for carers and influences policy makers, employers and service providers, to help them improve carers’ lives.
Housing options and local services
Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) is a national charity that aims to help older people make informed choices about meeting their housing and care needs.
Its HousingCare website provides a vast range of free information and guidance for older people, relatives and carers, as well as professionals who work with older people. This includes specialist directories of over 40,000 retirement housing developments and care homes in the UK, with details of nearly 3,000 available properties updated each week. There is also a directory of home services providing information on local services that can help older people live safely and independently at home.
You can search both databases for housing and services that support people with dementia.