Social housing provision for minority ethnic older people with dementia: Findings from a qualitative study

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Little research has explored how not-for-profit housing providers, often termed Housing Associations in the United Kingdom, meet the needs of older tenants with dementia who are from black and ethnic minority communities. This article presents findings from an exploratory study conducted in 2015. The study took an audit approach, investigating current practice and policy in 12 Housing Associations. All were developing their understanding of dementia; some were augmenting their standard rented property portfolio to include housing with care provision; and most had policies relating to equalities and diversity and were offering dementia training to members of staff. None appeared to have fully integrated the three strands of housing services, dementia care, and cultural or ethnicity-related needs and preferences. A range of strategies was reported as being developed to meet tenants’ changing circumstances. Anxiety about the cost of adaptations was commonly reported, although the nature and extent of this were ill-defined. Discussion focuses on the findings’ implications for housing providers and for dementia professionals.

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