Delivering high-quality dementia care
The design of places and spaces is crucial in delivering high-quality dementia care says Dr Julie Christie, region manager for the UK and Europe at HammondCare's Dementia Centre.
Quality of life, the impact of ageing, and the experience of dementia are interrelated. We need new thinking about how to support people with dementia if health, social care and housing support systems are to provide more personalised and cost-effective solutions to the issues that people with dementia and their carers face. Helping people with dementia to be physically active and to stay connected to the people, places and interests that are important to them are key markers in helping people to live well with dementia for as long as possible. Strategies which improve the interaction between enabling places and professionals are, therefore, essential. The resilience of the person with dementia and the mobilisation of assets and resources to support people living with dementia is an integral part of achieving a good quality of life.
We also have a huge opportunity to dramatically improve people’s quality of life through the design of spaces and places and with it is a heavy responsibility. Design is complex, highly technical and highly personal. There is no one approach. People with dementia need to be recognised as individuals with very different requirements from those of us responsible for their environments. The quest for fullness of life in our homes is essential, but its solution is a combination of value driven practice and design.
HammondCare is an independent charity in Australia. The organisation supports 17,000 people, employs over 3,000 staff and works with approximately 800 volunteers across 63 service locations in Australia, including hospitals, care homes, residential support and care at home. As well as this, HammondCare leads an industry partnership on behalf of the Australian government to provide Dementia Support Australia, a national support service which responds to referrals around understanding the behaviour of people living with dementia. It also has a UK division, HammondCare International, a not for profit organisation which works across the UK and Europe. The organisation is value-based, with a clear vision which underpins all of its operations. It is passionate about improving quality of life for people in need. It has a particular commitment to dementia care and research as well as to people who are financially disadvantaged.
The Dementia Centre, which was founded by HammondCare in 1995, works internationally to improve the lives of people with dementia. We provide bespoke consultancy and host a rich repository of publications and resources to share our unique philosophy and knowledge. Our approach keeps people with dementia at the heart of design and research processes, learning from the stories and experiences of people living with dementia. We have academic partnerships with universities in Australia and the UK. We also produce reports, social media content, case studies, books and e-publications, and have our own publications team.
- Dr Julie Christie is speaking at CIH Cymru's Older people's housing conference on 5 December in Swansea. Find out more and book your place