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West Kent Housing Association

West Kent is a vibrant, community based business providing affordable homes and services to people living in the towns and villages throughout Kent. We manage around 6,500 homes which are mixed tenure. We have a proud history and an enviable reputation for helping people and communities flourish. Emerald is West Kent Housing Association’s accommodation and support service for older people. Our vision is to deliver modern services to support people aged 55 years and over live fulfilling and independent lives. Emerald aims to ensure that access to quality housing, choice and flexible services means that as life changes, age is a positive experience..

25 November 2015
South East
Housing Sector
Local Alliances:
Kent Dementia Action Alliance, West Kent Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

West Kent Housing Association (West Kent) is committed to ensuring it becomes a dementia friendly organisation by: Ensuring that our current and perspective tenants and residents with dementia, their carers and families are given choices and are involved with decision making at all times regarding services they receive to ensure they are person centred Dementia Champions – dedicated group of Champions responsible for ensuring key messages are communicated across the business, to our tenants and residents, partners and stakeholders Improving knowledge, awareness and understanding of Dementia Providing accurate advice and information about local dementia services Displaying information in communal areas of our Emerald Schemes Offering support and reassurance to our tenants and residents, their friends and family through our dedicated Emerald Support and Care Navigator Services Working in partnership with the Alzheimer's Society in Dartford and Gravesham to deliver Swanley’s first and very successful Memory Café from our Extra Care Scheme, White Oak Court since April 2010 and developing a further Memory Café in Hartley with our residents in 2014 Ensuring all new West Kent colleagues attend basic awareness session as part of their induction plan Rolling out 'Dementia Friends' awareness-raising sessions across our business and into the communities in which we work Developing a detailed and ongoing learning and development programme for all colleagues Delivering our Accommodation Strategy, and remodelling our Emerald (Sheltered) Accommodation and Communal Areas to ensure that they are dementia friendly and follow the HAPPI principles

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Challenges will include: Changing attitudes and increasing understanding of dementia for our tenants and residents to be ‘dementia aware’ and foster a culture of inclusion for neighbours and friends living with dementia. Understanding the impact of dementia and ensuring our approach remains flexible. Sourcing alternative funding and engaging with other statutory partners such as health and social care to deliver joined up solutions/services. Ensuring that the skills we learn from training are transferred to the work place. As a housing provider securing adequate funding, due to restrictions on borrowing and reduced central government grant, for affordable (social ) older persons housing to ensure dementia friendly design features and appropriate technology can be incorporated in new build and refurbishment projects. Existing building designs and specifications - many of our properties were built in the 60’s 70’s and not designed for people with dementia - and so making the buildings as dementia friendly as we can is difficult and at times not possible.

Member website


2. Actions

  • ‘Dementia Friends’ – West Kent Colleagues

    Delivering Dementia Friends Sessions across the business in 2014/5


    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Friends Sessions continue to be delivered and well received across business - 'mop up sessions planned for New Year'

    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Friends Sessions delivered across business  to all colleagues.  Sessions now being rolled out in local communities.

  • ‘Dementia Friends’ – Local

    Delivering Dementia Friends Sessions in our local communities during 2015


    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Friend sessions already delievered to over 150 residents.  Sessions will continue to be rolled out in December 2015 across supported housing and Emerald Housing schemes due to change of tenants.

    2014 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Dementia Friends sessions now delivered to all West Kent colleagues - 3 colleagues have trained to become Champions with further 2 waiting for local dates. .

    Friends sessions continue to be delivered in local communities and for local partners

    Memory cafes now established in West Kingsdown and Hartley.

  • Identify learning opportunities to deliver long term improvements for residents with dementia, their carers and their families, by developing detailed learning and development plan for West Kent Colleagues

    Developing a detailed learning and development plan for all West Kent colleagues to ensure key staff from across the business have the requisite skills and knowledge to provide services for tenants and residents living with dementia.


    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Training continues to be delivered across business. Guides being produced to assist colleagues with delivery dementia friendly services as 'mainstream'

    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    First Tailored session rolled out. Currently evaluating before rolling out to wider team and local partners.

    First Dementia Friendly Activity Sessions booked for 4 and 11 December. .

  • We will look at our properties and the specifications, housing need and accessibility for people living with dementia

    West Kent aim is to enable our tenants and residents living with dementia to remain in their homes as long as possible. We have taken the views of people with dementia when looking around our schemes making sure they are as dementia friendly as possible.

    We will develop a ‘West Kent Dementia Friendly Design Guide’ for new buildings and refurbishment programmes as part of our Accommodation Strategy

    Support services will specifically look at identifying tenants and residents with dementia and how we can enhance the services they receive for example by facilitating scheme specific activities and advice services. We will also be developing an information leaflet for tenants and residents who do not have dementia so they can support their neighbours and the needs they have.

    We will look at introducing the “This Is Me “booklet (Alzheimer’s Society), where people living with a dementia record their likes, dislikes and wishes. This will assist our Tenants and Residents when they are unable to verbally communicate their needs and to ensure they have choice and involvement in future needs.




    2015 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Guides in final stages of consultation, looking to be complete by December 2015

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Dementia Friendly design principles applied to all refurbishment projects and new build design.


    Dementia design guide being drafted. 'This is me' principles being adopted in support planning and service delivery.  Keeping in touch booklet being designed by Dementia Champions and partners.


    2015 - First Quarter Update

    Initial planning and scoping stage completed - now moving into planning and implementation stage.