Care Homes Engaging with Community Helps to Eliminate the Myths of Residential Care
Friday June 19th marked the most recent of the annual Care Home Open Days that take place across the UK. Every year thousands of care homes take part in this initiative, which is designed to show the general public what care homes are really like. Homes open their doors and invite visits from people in their local communities in order to forge links and build up relationships between the communities and residents in the care homes.
People who are unfamiliar with care homes often fail to realise how many special people are resident in care homes and how they are cared for and supported by dedicated staff. Many homes have used social media such as Facebook and Twitter to reach the wider community, as well as advertising their open days in the local press. Various special events have been organised across the country as an introduction to the homes, but this is just the start. The aim of the annual Care Home Open Day is for care-home residents and staff to meet and forge lasting relationships with members of the local community.
Excellent Social Care
Members of the public and the friends and families of care-home residents have been able to visit and see at first-hand examples of the excellent social care provided by homes. This is advantageous not only for the residents and staff in care homes, but also for anyone who may have to consider either going into residential care themselves or finding a suitable place for a loved one. As well as dispelling some of the myths about residential care, these open days have the effect of demonstrating to the public what a vital service care homes provide, and why it is so important to support them.
In addition to members of the public, over one hundred inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited homes during the open day and saw many of the activities that are carried out for the residents.
Visiting a Care Home
As well as providing social, physical and emotional care, homes provide many social activities for their residents, and visitors are able to observe exercise classes, musical entertainment, parties and craft activities in the homes. They can also see the amazing facilities on offer, with specialist units for people with dementia, beautiful gardens and various different spaces where residents can choose to spend their time.
Taking the opportunity to discuss the challenges, such as staff shortages and problems with funding, faced by many care homes today can provide people with a greater insight into the sector and increase understanding. We are often nervous of the unknown, so becoming familiar with the services provided by care homes in the area and chatting to residents can often reassure people that they can really enhance quality of life.
Care-home residents often report that all their needs are met even better than they expected, with staff monitoring their health and well-being. They say that they have a lot more choice in their day-to-day life than they expected, their social life has improved and their general quality of life is better since moving into residential care.
Of course, you do not have to wait for an open day to arrange a visit to a care home. Many organisations – such as us here at Balcombe Care Homes – welcome the opportunity to show visitors around, so if you would like to find out more about the facilities on offer or are considering residential care, drop in today!