Stakeholders sought to support national initiative for provision of appropriate housing for people living with dementia

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Posted 25 May 2023

A national initiative chaired by Housing 21 to ensure the provision of appropriate housing for people living with dementia is inviting new stakeholders to join the group as it celebrates the launch of a new development resource hub.

Led by Housing 21’s Head of Strategic Operations, Vanessa Pritchard-Wilkes, the Dementia and Housing Working Group (DHWG) comprises a range of volunteer stakeholders keen to deliver action and bring about tangible results to support people living with dementia.

Specifically, the group is looking to focus on the limited investment in dementia training for housing professionals whilst addressing a gap in dementia friendly housing policy direction.

Vanessa Pritchard-Wilkes

Vanessa Pritchard-Wilkes, chair of DHWG and Head of Strategic Operations at Housing 21 says “Housing 21 has chaired the Housing and Dementia Working Group for a number of years and consider it an honour to bring together so many people who are passionate about the important role of appropriate housing for people living with dementia. Collectively there is so much knowledge, passion and enthusiasm in the group that we are determined to make a difference and ensure the work and meaningful conversation around housing and dementia continues and develops.” 

With nearly 950,000 people living with dementia in the UK and 70 percent who live in the community, the group feels it is imperative to improve standards and continue to drive forward the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Report ‘Housing for People with Dementia - Are We Ready?’, utilising their combined knowledge to help others.

The housing sector plays a key role in enabling people with dementia to live independently in a suitable home environment in accordance with their needs and aspirations.

A recent achievement for DHWG has been the development of the Dementia Information Hub, a “go to” resource which is being used by policy makers, registered providers and housing developers, health and care professionals, those living with dementia and their carers, the home improvement sector, and building environment supply chains.

Yvonne Castle, Group Chief Executive of Johnnie Johnson Housing, said of being a member:  “Their work on a national Information Hub has been a quality source of information and ideas for our West Yorkshire Dementia-ready Housing Task Force. Our aim is to link into this to join up and provide similar information for our communities in West Yorkshire.”

“We’ve also used the Group’s work on a Dementia Champion role profile and made that our own.  We now have a network of Dementia Champions across West Yorkshire. Our work in West Yorkshire, inspired by the Mayor Tracy Brabin’s commitment to dementia, is now looking at our new homes pipeline to promote dementia-friendly design and also seeking to identify how we retrofit our existing homes to make sure people with dementia can live longer, and better, in their own homes.”

There are 36 members of the DHWG which includes housing providers, government departments, universities, national networks and organisations with an interest in dementia and housing, as well as people living with dementia.

To join the group or for more information, email Vanessa Pritchard-Wilkes or visit the Housing Lin webpage for more information and access to resources.

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