Improving the lives of those living with all forms of dementia

Wendy Wells headshot 112x112
Wendy Wells
Head of Agency Managed, Policy and Business Implementation, The Guinness Partnership

To close World Alzheimer’s month, I want to share the key projects we are running across The Guinness Partnership, and shine a light on the actions we have been taking to improve the lives of those living with all forms of dementia.

Everyone has a role to play in ensuring the world we live in is more dementia-friendly and Guinness has a key part to play in ensuring that our housing services and communities are the most accessible they can be. This is why seven years ago we made a commitment to be a dementia-friendly organisation. Since then, we’ve significantly improved our knowledge, skills and housing.

Guinness is committed to:

  • Raising awareness  - we do this through our Dementia Friends (opens new window) commitment, learning through previous partnerships with LGBT Foundation Bring Dementia Out (opens new window), events, panel discussions, reports and support networks.
  • Keeping the conversation relevant and guiding policy - we are a key member of the Dementia Housing Working Group and are currently administering the dementia information hub (opens new window).
  • Investing in dementia-friendly environments - we offer specialist and general needs housing  providing innovative solutions in the way of aids, adaptations and assistive technology.
  • Contributing to research and reports -  such as the APPG ‘Inquiries into Dementia’ report.
  • Providing industry-leading dementia care and support  - our training is current and comprehensive.

Most importantly we have ensured Guinness staff are more aware of the needs of our residents living with dementia. Only recently I received a call from an Estate Officer who was carrying out grounds maintenance tasks in one of our communities. He wanted to highlight an interaction he had had with a resident who was living with dementia and seemed to need a little extra help. Since then, our Neighbourhoods and Customer Support Team have made contact and we have agreed a few changes to how we communicate with the resident, and arranged for a much needed minor adaptation in her home. We’ve also updated our records so we can better tailor our services in the future.

“It’s so important to recognise that we are all different, and so it follows that everyone living with dementia will also require help and support at a different time, and in a different way.” – Wendy Wells, Head of Agency Managed, Policy, and Business Implementation.

The Dementia and Housing Working Group

Did you know The Guinness Partnership is part of the Dementia and Housing Working Group?

The Dementia and Housing Working Group brings together a wide range of stakeholders to focus specifically on housing and dementia. The group promotes the role of the housing sector in enabling people with dementia to live independently, in a suitable home environment, in accordance with their needs and aspirations.

Approximately 850,000 people in the UK have dementia and the number is set to rise significantly in the coming years. Meeting the challenge of enabling all people living with dementia to live as well as possible is a priority nationally, and organisations across all sectors need to play their part. Organisations must work collaboratively to improve the health and wellbeing of people living with dementia and support their families and carers.

The Dementia and Housing Working Group aims to:

  • Forge links and partnerships across health, social care and housing and encourage positive relationships, to develop a coordinated approach to supporting people with dementia.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of dementia across the housing sector.
  • Improve awareness and understanding amongst statutory and voluntary sector health and social care professionals of the relevance and importance of housing and related services in enabling people with dementia, their families and communities to live well.
  • Encourage and assist the housing sector to become as dementia friendly as possible in the way they operate, and to contribute to making the communities within which they work dementia friendly.
  • Encourage integrated care and support pathways that include housing options, housing sector staff and housing-related services for people with dementia through all stages from prevention to end-of-life care​.

Who are the members?

Alongside The Guinness Partnership, the working group comprises professionals and trade bodies working with the Alzheimer's Society, academic researchers, representatives of government departments and the health sector, including Department of Communities and Local Government, Homes and Communities Agency, Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England. The group works across the UK, with particular focus on England.

If you found this of interest, Guinness Partnership, along with Pozzoni Architects, are proud sponsors of the Housing LIN’s topic pages ‘In Focus - Innovations in Housing and Dementia’.


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