Housing, the built environment and ICTs

Two reports on the topic of housing and the built environment are included in this section, the first focusing on the role of housing services although the recommendations include reference to care home design and the second a report to The Atlantic Philanthropies of a study designed to provide a better understanding of housing and care options open the philanthropic body in encouraging more progressive support for older people in NI, with a focus on the housing and care of people living with dementia. While the full report is not publicly available, a summary of the report is and is therefore included below. This section also includes a book about supporting people with dementia using pervasive healthcare technologies.  

Home Truths

Quince, C.
Alzheimer’s Society (UK)

This report produced by the Alzheimer’s Society (UK) summarises a review of existing evidence and using focus groups and interviews carried out in England and NI presents new evidence from people with dementia and their carers on issues associated with housing.

A series of recommendations highlight the need to recognise the role of housing services as a key support for those living with dementia in the community; the need for people with dementia to have choice in terms of housing; the need for improved access to information and advice on available options: handyperson services; funding availability and that the design of care homes should reflect the needs of people with dementia.

Housing and Care: a Report for The Atlantic Philanthropies (Summary)

Paris, C.
The Atlantic Philanthropies

This study estimates that, of the population of people with dementia in NI, around 8,000 to 9,000 people live in communal establishments and around 10,000 in private households. It highlights the difficulties of providing estimates of where people with dementia will be living in the future.

It examines the suppliers of housing with care in NI and finds that the most frequently available option for people with dementia who can no longer stay at home is residential or nursing home care. While there are also likely to be people with dementia living in sheltered housing provided by the social housing and charitable sectors, several issues related to this type of accommodation have emerged and have yet to be resolved. There are few alternative housing options for people with dementia. The report makes a case for the reallocation of public expenditure on dementia away from spending on residential and nursing home care to more spending on home-based care and support. It identifies examples of good practice in housing with care in NI, England, the Netherlands and Australia.

Supporting People with Dementia Using Pervasive Healthcare Technologies

Mulvenna, M.D., Nugent, C.D.

Chris Nugent of the University of Ulster is one of the editors of this book, which describes a research project called COGKNOW, undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from across seven European countries including Northern Ireland.

The focus of the book is on how pervasive healthcare technologies can support people living with dementia. It is divided into four main parts. The first provides the background to the research and covers medical aspects of dementia, the state of the art in electronic assistive technologies for people with dementia, a review of ICT-based services for identified unmet needs in people with dementia and issues related to privacy, ethics and security when designing technologies for people with dementia. The second part focuses on the role of the user in the design process. The third describes different aspects of the technology used in the COGKNOW project to develop solutions to identified unmet needs. The fourth focuses on the evaluation and assessment of cognitive prosthetics, including the process of evaluation developed in the project and how the team measured the impact of the cognitive prosthetics on the daily life of people with dementia. The book concludes with an overview of the future state of the art in using technology to help people remain functionally independent and in their residence of choice.