How do people with dementia and their carers feel about adapting their homes?
Two thirds of people with dementia currently live at home. There is a wealth of information available from a variety of sources on how homes can be adapted to promote independence, reduce symptoms and maintain functional ability. Although this advice is available it is not known to what extent the advice is accessed or used by people with dementia and their carers and what their feelings are regarding making changes to their home and what they want from the process.
‘The use of home adaptation by people with dementia’ study has just been added to Join Dementia Research. The study is looking to improve knowledge regarding how people with dementia and their carers access and respond to information and advice about adapting their homes. By gaining greater understanding, information can be better targeted to increase its uptake and use as well as provide information on how health and social care professionals can modify their approach to better support people with dementia and their carers in making decisions about home modification.
The study forms part of a PhD for Fran Allen at the University of Warwick. We caught up with Fran to find out more.
What are the main aims of the use of home adaptation by people with dementia study?
The aim is to find out how people with dementia and their carers have changed their home or how they use their home, what their experiences are of the process and if this has changed how they feel about their home.
What does it involve for a participant?
Participants are interviewed in their own home. I am looking particularly for pairs of participants consisting of a person with dementia and another, either a spouse or a carer who live at the same address.
It is a one-off interview that will be 30 minutes – 1 hour. The interview will cover what changes have been made to their home or the use of their home, how this makes the participants feel and whether these can be improved.
What do you hope the outcomes of the study will be?
To have a greater understanding of what it is to live at home with dementia and to live with a person with dementia at home. This understanding will hopefully lead to improved information and education for people living with dementia on how they can make adaptations which enable them to stay at home for longer.
I also hope that the information found may help with the future design and delivery of home modifications and equipment.
Where is the study based?
I am based at the University of Warwick.
How did you come to be involved in dementia research?
I am a Physiotherapist specialising in elderly care and dementia. My work has predominantly been in the community providing treatment in people’s own homes. During the course of my work I saw the impact that a person’s home has on their day to day life and the desire of people with dementia to stay living at home.
I also saw that sometimes homes were not as supportive as they could be, which led me to wonder whether this could be improved. So earlier this year I started a PhD in the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick looking at the design and implementation of home modifications.
The study is looking for people with a diagnosis of dementia and their informal carers who live at the same address.
You can see if you are eligible for this study – and others around the nation by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.
Still not registered with Join Dementia Research? Why not sign up today?