Age, Home and Community strategy: progress report

Update on action to support older people to live independently at home.

03 Better Use Of Existing Housing

We said: we will support development of expertise/knowledge on adaptation of existing housing to improve its suitability for people with dementia and associated support for staff development.

In June 2013 Improving the Design of Housing to assist People with Dementia was published as a design guide on adaptation of housing for people with dementia. In spring 2016 three Care & Repair projects (Aberdeen, Angus and Lochaber) were awarded grant funding for three years to develop a dementia enablement service. In addition, the Chartered Institute of Housing ( CIH) commissioned research on the workforce requirements associated with dementia. Dementia Pathways Housing’s Role Key research findings were published in March 2017.

We said: we will consider fundamental change to the funding and delivery of housing adaptations.

In November 2012 the Adaptations Working Group completed its final report; then in March 2013 Scottish Government issued a response to the Adaptations Working Group.

In August 2014 a number of Adapting for Change demonstration sites were identified (Borders, Falkirk, Aberdeen, Fife and Lochaber) which in March 2015 were then awarded £150,000 from the Technology Enabled Care Fund to support expansion of telecare, with greater connection with the housing sector. Key research findings and full report were published in September 2017. In progress

We said: We will support improvement of housing quality in the social rented sector.

In October 2012 Scottish Social Housing Charter indicators were published, followed by Scotland’s Sustainable Housing Strategy in June 2013. In March 2014, the new energy efficiency standard for social housing ( EESSH) was published, followed by publication of the first Social Housing Charter reports in August 2014.

We said: we will implement a Fuel Poverty Strategy and support the development of programmes which help older people to maintain a comfortable and warm home environment.

In November 2012 the Warm Homes Fund was launched, followed by the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland in April 2013. In March 2014 the Fuel Poverty Forum published the final report on its review of the Fuel Poverty Strategy, then in December 2014 Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS) Summary Delivery Report 2013/14 was published. HEEPS interest free loans were launched in April 2015 and in September the launch of Warmer Homes Scotland, the Scottish Government’s flagship national fuel poverty scheme. In autumn 2017, following consultation, we expect to publish a consultation paper on a new long term fuel poverty strategy, and Scottish Government will introduce a Warm Homes Bill in 2018 to set a new statutory fuel poverty target.

We said: we will support development of a register of accessible housing.

In 2015 a register of accessible housing was put into operation. Scottish Government continues to work with Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living ( GCIL) to recognise good practice and increase participation.

We said: we will support the extension of information and advice to help home owners find reliable tradespeople.

We reviewed the existing sources of information and while this varied across local areas, there are good sources of information from local authorities, charities and trusted trader schemes. We will continue to work with stakeholders to develop trusted sources of information and advice to help with repairs and maintenance.

We said: we will provide practical advice about the development of supported housing and put in place arrangements to make best use of resources from all sources including NHS, local authorities and benefits.

In 2014 the JIT produced a report Step Up and Step Down looking at intermediate care in Scotland. In March 2015 the Joint Improvement Team supported a RSL consortium to develop housing with care solutions for those with complex needs. In May 2015 a number of pilots were established for the provision of step up/step down accommodation in sheltered housing (Borders, Falkirk and Edinburgh) with the Scottish Government paying for voids. While some of these were successful, others were not sustainable in the longer term. In March 2017 a Home not hospital presentation provided an update on interim supported accommodation. The next phase will be to respond to UK Government changes to supported accommodation funding arrangements. Work is underway on developing these new arrangements.

We said: we will prepare a practical guide to the redevelopment of existing sheltered housing.

A practice guide was published by the Joint Improvement Team in August 2013.

We said: we will consider whether there are ways of, and benefits to, developing financial products that are more attractive.

In April 2015 we launched a two year Help to Adapt pilot to test this approach. A report setting out the key learning points is expected by the end of summer 2017.

We said: we will consider potential for new, mixed or flexible tenure arrangements.

In November 2012 the Adaptations Working Group completed their final report which included research on financial products and opportunities for alternative tenure models. We issued a response to the report in February 2013 confirming our continuing co-operation with local authorities, housing associations, service users and others in the housing sector and beyond to take the recommendations forward. These included: adaptations to be centred around the individual; a broader outcomes focused service; looking at funding of adaptations; and greater partnership working.

We said: we will reshape information and advice services on housing, support and care options for older people.

We have reviewed and developed information and advice for older people on living arrangements (housing, care and support) to ensure best use is made of information. Examples include Care Information Scotland: a phone, web chat and website service providing information about care services for people living in Scotland; the Social Housing Charter which contains the outcomes and standards that all social landlords should achieve for their tenants and other customers. Both put the person at the centre to ensure the advice is right for them.

Case Studies

Angus Dementia Enablement Service

Funded by the Life Change Trust, this service provides early intervention and engagement around home issues rather than focus on the condition. There are many aids which can help those with dementia including:

  • Weekly planner with removable stickers for nurse, doctor, day care, cleaner etc.
  • Magi plug to avoid the bath running over
  • Coloured grab rails to stand out from white background
  • Daylight bulbs
  • Picture stickers to identify different rooms or cupboards in kitchen

The service can also involve working with the client to solve an individual problem. For example, one client had reverted to sleeping on the couch and not using her bedroom. Initially they thought it might be the cold in the bedroom or the inability to work the radiator in the bedroom. However, working with the client they finally found she had forgotten how to use the remote control for the television in the bedroom which was resolved by writing out step by step instructions.

Immediate to let Sheltered Housing

Housing Options Scotland ( HOS) have established a close working relationship with a sheltered housing provider (Trust Housing Association) that has assisted when clients present who are in extreme housing need. The clients have been potentially homeless, in unsuitable accommodation or unable to return home after a period in hospital.

One example is a 90-year-old lady, who lived with her son and was about to be made homeless as her son’s house was being repossessed. HOS assisted her every step of the way from sourcing two suitable sheltered housing properties for her to view, accompanying her on the viewings, going along with her to present as homeless, arranging for the section five referral to be sent to Trust and working with her Social Worker throughout the process to ensure benefits and other supports were in place. The suitable properties for this client were identified and viewings arranged within two days of HOS first speaking to the client’s son. The speed of the service prevented the client from being required to move into homeless temporary accommodation at the age of 90, which obviously was a huge worry for her and her family.

Trust Housing Association Design Guides

Trust Housing Association, in partnership with North Lanarkshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership, commissioned a set of design guides which aim to help social landlords adapt their existing housing stock to meet the changing needs of older people. While many new houses are being built, a large proportion of existing houses will remain in use for many years. Making cost-effective adaptations to existing stock is a key priority to ensure housing is suitably adapted to meet older peoples’ needs. The guides provide specific guidance on adapting and remodelling existing stock, better use of colour and signage in housing developments for older people and creating attractive internal and outdoor spaces with improved access to daylight. Downloadable versions of the design guides are available below:
Colour and Wayfinding; Daylight Spaces; Remodelling

Clever Cogs – Blackwood Homes and Care

Assisted Living Technologies ( ALT) are devices that are designed to provide care and support to disabled and homebound adults. One such application has been developed by Blackwood Homes and Care to support the digital participation of its clients and improve their quality of life. Blackwood, with support from the Scottish Government’s digital participation team is piloting the use of the Clever Cogs system within a small number of its care homes. Clever Cogs technology enables users to open curtains and switch on TVs, order shopping and ensure constant connection with family, friends and carers. Scottish Government’s Digital Participation team has also supported an evaluation of this project. Over the period 2015/16 and 2016/17 grant funding of £110,000 has been made available. The objective is to gather evidence of the impact of the technology on a range of stakeholders and assess whether the technology is socially valuable to clients and whether there is a business case for expanding the use of the technology more widely to support the care of homebound and disabled adults across Scotland. A full SROI analysis and final report will be produced in 2018.

Warmer Homes Scotland

When Mrs A, a 75-year-old householder from Crieff, saw her boiler break down in the middle of winter, she made a call to Home Energy Scotland in early February 2016 to see what help might be available.

She explains her situation: “Well, the boiler that was here was broken and beyond repair, I also had no hot water without the heating on as well. So someone mentioned there was a scheme where I could get a new boiler and I just went for it.”

A Warmworks surveyor found that her property had a SAP energy efficiency rating of 38, which indicated that there were a number of improvements that needed to be made in order to make the home warmer and more energy efficient. When the work was complete, Mrs A’s property has now improved to a SAP rating of 66, an increase of 42%.


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