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Together Housing Group

The Together Housing Group is a leading provider of quality affordable and modern homes for rent across the North of England; combining a number of partners each retaining their local identity to serve their local communities. The Group shares skills and expertise to offer better services and value to its customers to achieve our vision – ‘Making a Better Future Together’ Our services include housing for older and vulnerable people; providing independent housing together with flexible support services which are outcome focused, offer choice, promote independence and a culture of respect and tolerance within a safe, supportive and community environment. This enables our customers to age in place whilst offering lots of opportunities to enjoy life. The Group’s first extra care scheme was opened in late 2001 and over the years we have built up a considerable amount of experience in the field. That said, we are not complacent and continuously learning as our aim is to be a provider of excellence for our customers. We now have eleven Extra Care schemes in management from South to West Yorkshire, over the border to Lancashire and most recently in Derbyshire where our latest scheme has opened and we have a further two schemes in development with Derbyshire Council. The further development of our extra care housing portfolio is a key part of the Group’s growth strategy, including tenure diversification and new capital funding models. We are also developing a new scheme including higher level provision for people with dementia with Wakefield Council (due to open Oct 15) and most recently have been appointed to develop a scheme with Blackburn and Darwen Council which includes bungalows for rent as well as a core extra care scheme We are continuing to work with Commissioners in other local regions around opportunities for further developments. This includes the development of a core and cluster scheme with Calderdale Council to extend the offer of extra care housing to those both with higher levels of dementia and people with learning disabilities.

Updated:
27 October 2014
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Housing Sector
Local Alliances:
Wakefield and Five Towns 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?

Throughout the Group we will aim to:

  • Raise awareness about dementia; challenging values and attitudes of staff by establishing an accredited dementia training pathway
  • Establish Dementia Champions in each locality to deliver awareness sessions to colleagues, partners and customers
  • Deliver person centred, customer led services which offer choice and control
  • Work with our Communications Team to ensure our engagement and communication plans are inclusive of people living with dementia and offer opportunities for them to shape and control their services

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

  • Impact of Public funding cuts
  • Deprivation of Liberty changes – understanding the potential impact to extend Deprivation of Liberty into Supported Housing
  • Individual Budgets: Continuing to ensure that individuals have opportunities to exercise choice and control and that these opportunities are extended to people living with dementia and their families
  • Ignorance of family and friends and tenants in the scheme and/or surrounding area
  • An increase in the number of individuals with dementia living within our properties due to the closure of many residential care establishments
  • Changing the values and attitudes of staff and customers by promoting and embedding understanding of dementia across the Group
  • Improving access to support

Overuse of antipsychotic medications to manage ‘challenging behaviour’ resulting in the stereotype and misconceptions about Dementia being supported.

Member website

www.togetherhousing.co.uk

2. Actions

  • Raising Awareness and Understanding - Internally

    To improve the learning and development of staff skills and competencies about people living well with dementia, through Personal Development Reviews, formal training (including an accredited dementia training pathway) and ongoing awareness discussions.

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Raise Awareness and Understanding - Externally

    Together Housing Representatives to attend their local quarterly Dementia Action Alliance meetings and other appropriate forums including the Salford Housing and Dementia Working Group

    Status:
    Planning
  • Research assistive technology

    Undertake research into assistive technology solutions and service innovations for people living with dementia

    Status:
    Planning
  • Butterfly alert

    Introduce the Butterfly type of alert on our internal computer system so that all staff are aware of the potential difficulties experienced by the calling customer and are better equipped to respond and deal with calls accordingly

    Status:
    Planning
  • Information pack

    Appoint staff to produce a local information pack linked to Owlbert (Together Housing Intranet facility)

    Status:
    Planning
  • Incorporating dementia into Building Design and Environmental Changes

    Implement best practice and learning about dementia design via development design groups and specification reviews.

    Work closely with academic institutions including the Salford Institute for Dementia at the design stage of buildings and dementia friendly outdoor environments. This will ensure that environments are as enabling as possible for those living with dementia, whilst balancing the need to provide a presentable environment for other tenants.

    Status:
    Planning
  • Raising Awareness and Understanding – Communities

    Ensure our customer engagement and communication plans are inclusive of people living with dementia and offer opportunities for them to shape and control their services

    Status:
    Planning
  • Supporting tenants to live well

    Support tenants to live well with dementia in Supported Housing services, including achieving early diagnosis, promoting understanding and a culture of respect and tolerance

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Raising Awareness and Understanding – Communities

    Roll out of dementia awareness sessions to our customers in liaison with Resident Involvement Officers across the Group to increase understanding and enable peer support for friends and neighbours

    Status:
    Planning