There are 800,000 people with dementia in the UK at present and this is expected to rise to 1m by 2021. The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that dementia costs the UK £23bn per annum, with £8bn of that cost hidden by the work done by family carers supporting people at home.
This report highlights how good housing and related services can impact positively on the lives of people with dementia, from delaying more intensive forms of care to preventing admission and readmission to hospital. Case studies from housing associations and home improvement agencies show how appropriate housing can:
• reduce or delay demand for health and social care services for people with dementia
• improve the rate of diagnosis of dementia
• deliver improved health and social care outcomes at a lower cost
The report recommends that commissioners and their local partners work together with housing organisations to enable people with dementia to retain their independence for as long as possible:
• Clinical commissioning groups should work closely with the housing sector to identify where costs build up in different parts of the care and health system, and to design home based solutions that will relieve these pressures.
• Local authorities, housing providers, home improvement agencies and NHS Trusts should work in partnership to develop support services for people with dementia. These bodies should build on existing resources such as specialist housing and frontline support services to maximise opportunities for diagnosis and early intervention.
• Directors of public health should work with housing organisations to increase the diagnosis rates of dementia, building on the existing infrastructure of housing management and support services present within current housing services.
Published: September 2015
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