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This independent project was commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research School for Social Care Research. The project ran from July 2012 until January 2014 and was led by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, in collaboration with the Association for Dementia Studies at Worcester University, Bournemouth University Dementia Institute, and the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research at Cambridge University. The overall aim of the project was to investigate how best to provide care and support for adults living with sight loss and dementia in a range of housing settings. 

Meeting the social care and support needs of people with concurrent dementia and sight loss presents complex challenges. However, the policy aspiration to enable a greater proportion of people with complex needs to live and die in their own homes requires the specific challenges of providing care and support in these settings for people with concurrent dementia and sight loss to be understood and addressed. Previous research has highlighted a number of factors which limit the effective delivery of social care and support specifically for people with concurrent sight loss and dementia, not least that models of care need to respond to both conditions, rather than working in isolation. 

This project addressed this gap by building evidence for developing practice guidance in social care and support for people with dementia and sight loss in a range of housing settings. The research drew on the experience of people living with dementia and sight loss, family members where present, and a range of service providers, commissioners and support planners to explore current practice in social care from a range of perspectives, and identified models of practice, areas where practice could be enhanced and improved, and areas where there is a divergence of evidence. 

The research team brought together the necessary range of expertise and skill sets from across four universities and key experts from the Thomas Pocklington Trust and Housing and Dementia Research Consortium in order to address the complexity of examining models of social care delivery to people with concurrent sight loss and dementia within independent living settings. 

The main outputs from this project included evidence-based practice guidance and key principle statements highlighting how social care and associated support could best be delivered to people with dementia and sight loss living in a range of housing settings. The development of the guidance included a stakeholder Consensus Event with practitioners, key experts and people with dementia and sight loss and family members. The results were disseminated to a wide range of audiences via a programme of activities and through a diverse range of media including lay summaries, presentations and online resources.