Senior Lecturer in Housing and Environmental Health, Dr Jill Stewart, has received funding from the Association of London Environmental Health Managers (Alehm) to investigate the support available for older people including those at risk of dementia.
The research is timely and important. The UK currently has an ageing population and innovative solutions are required to meet the needs of older people to help them remain healthy and stay in their own home as long as possible if this is their choice.
As part of the research, Dr Stewart and her team will carry out a literature review exploring private sector housing service delivery to older people, an online survey to capture the current picture of what is happening across London and follow up interviews.
The aim of the research is to identify examples of good practice that could be explored further as well as make recommendations for local authorities.
"Our research will develop an accurate picture of what is happening in London and also highlight what works well so that councils across the Capital, or even nationally, can adapt good practice for their local needs.” Dr Jill Stewart, Middlesex
A key element of the research is the participation of Middlesex students. Three students currently studying Environmental Health will be integral to the project and they will undertake interviews and analyse results. This experience will be invaluable to them in their future careers working in Environmental Health.
Commenting on the project, Dr Stewart said:
“Anecdotally we know that some excellent support is available to help older people continue living in their home. Unfortunately we are also aware that some people are not receiving the care they need. Not only does this impact negatively on their individual situation - their health may suffer and they may end up going into a care home earlier than necessary which may even mean being separated from their spouse – it also ends up costing the council more. Care homes are far more expensive than adapting home environments and this option is often not want people want or need.
“Therefore our research will develop an accurate picture of what is happening in London and also highlight what works well so that councils across the Capital, or even nationally, can adapt good practice for their local needs.”
Steve Miller, chairman of Alehm, reiterated the importance of the project to the environmental health profession, as well as health care workers. “This project will provide front line professionals with wider access to much needed information on how to best support vulnerable elderly people to remain in their homes for longer. We are proud to be able to assist in this important work.”
Find out more about studying Environmental Health at Middlesex