Where we live, work and learn can have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. From a healthy home environment to the design of public spaces and access to community resources, there are many ways our environment contributes to a longer and healthier life.
Ideally, as people age (or if they have physical or cognitive impairments) they should be looked after in their familiar home surroundings. The homes and buildings that people spend most of their time in should be adjustable to the circumstances of their health and wellbeing. They should be adaptable to accommodate impairment and ageing.
The purpose of the Health and Wellbeing panel is to accelerate and extend the national debate between all stakeholders involved in the creation and use of Caring Homes and the associated policies around them. Concerned with the health of the people inside the buildings, the premise is simple: wellbeing doesn’t begin at 65, it is something we need to consider all of our adult lives.
This planning is complex however, and involves multiple stakeholders including architects, builders, care providers and individuals. It is not confined to new build as 80% of the housing stock in this country will still be in use in 50 years’ time, so refurbishment and renewal is an important consideration. In addition, in support of the NHS Five Year Forward View, this improved home environment must enable a new model of care whereby individuals are incentivised to self-care at home, where more care is delivered by the statutory services at home.
Another aspect of this panel is the promotion of the assisted living ready home. The building industry has long since built houses that are incompatible with peoples assisted living needs. Most public areas, shops or commercial premises must have wheelchair access, but the same cannot be said for all homes! For this reason, listing requirements for homes in which everyone can grow old safely is an essential objective for the Panel.
The Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Panel is chaired by Director of SH&BA, Dr Richard Curry.
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The Caring Home
SH&BA’s Health and Wellbeing panel in conjunction with Portsmouth University has developed the concept of the Caring Home. It describes what is required and identifies what needs to be done to reach the goal of all homes being ‘Caring Homes’.
One strand of the panel is to pursue and develop a consultation document entitled “The Caring Home”. This work is led by Dr Richard Curry, SH&BA Director. This work is now being reviewed by stakeholder groups.
Last year the panel prepared input for the “The Caring Home” Conference, a meeting at The Royal Society of Medicine held in London on 24th November 2015. One of the major issues that emerged from this conference was how much more work needs to be done before Caring Home are widely available and the security issues surrounding the Caring Home (see Security Panel for more details).
A Caring Home is a combination of a smart (or connected) home coupled with adaptations and remote care services, all of which are configured to meet the needs and wants of the resident. The Caring Home is part of a care eco-system with facilities ranging from relevant care information sources to response services. In turn, this eco-system should be part of a smart neighbourhood.
Take part in the Health and Wellbeing Panel
The next meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Panel will be on March 9th at the Business Design Centre in London. SH&BA Members attend free; non members pay £50.00 to cover the day delegate costs. Members will be advised the discount code. Joining instructions will be given on registration.
Health and Wellbeing Projects
Members of this panel were involved in the successful application for the Long Term Care Revolution Project CHIRON under SBRI. CHIRON is a fully funded £2.16 Million project that will deliver intelligent power assisted systems to help people live better and longer at home. The system will be modular, intuitive and simple enough for people, their families and carers to use without complex instructions.
The panel will represent one way in which the project can be influenced by a wide range of stakeholders. SH&BA (2016) is a partner in this project and this work is led by Dr Richard Curry.