Housing, the built environment and ICTs

This section includes reports that consider the role of housing services, housing options for people with dementia, universal design and the role of assistive technology. It also includes a book about supporting people with dementia using pervasive healthcare technologies.

Telecare & Assistive Technology Evaluation (2016)

Cullen, K., Delaney, S., Stapleton, P. and Wynne, R.
HSE & Genio Dementia Programme
Under the HSE & Genio Dementia Programme, four community projects implemented telecare and assistive technology initiatives as part of a range of person-centred supports between the years 20112 and 2015.
This report presents the results of an evaluation of the implementation of these initiatives in the sites. The report provides an introduction to telecare in dementia care. The study examined the experiences and impacts of the implementation of telecare on a pilot basis in the four sites using a mixed-methods study design within an action research framework. The reports discussed both the positive and negative impact of telecare as well as how the different forms of telecare worked in practice. It found that when effectively targeted and implemented in a person-centred way with individually tailored technology packages, telecare can be a very useful support for people with dementia and their families. The experiences for the four sites in implementing the telecare was also assessed. The report concluded that telecare and assistive technology can make an invaluable practical contribution to the everyday lives of people with dementia.

Research for Dementia and Home Design in Ireland

Pierce, M., Grey, T., Cahill, S. and Dyer, M.
Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority.
This study on dementia and home design in Ireland was undertaken to inform the development of Universal Design Guidelines for Dementia Friendly Dwellings produced by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority in 2015.
The study included an extensive scoping review of the literature, stakeholder engagement, and case studies of dwellings designed for people with dementia. This report provides a rationale for focusing on designing and retrofitting dwellings for people living with dementia, their families and carers and discusses the concept of Universal Design (UD) and key aspects of adopting this approach. It outlines key theoretical frameworks within which UD for dementia friendly dwellings can be placed and considers dementia friendly design goals and principles and how these might inform a UD approach. The report includes a focus on people with dementia and their lived experiences of the built environment. It presents a comprehensive review on the literature on the design, building and adaption of dwellings for people with dementia and includes several case studies of design friendly design. It presents the main findings from the stakeholder interviews. Finally, it identifies key recommendations for the Universal Design of new build and existing dwellings for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

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.