The Future of UK Care Homes
As the UK’s population ages, new care home facilities will be required to assist the elderly with managing aspects of daily life. They will provide a safety net of services and medical attention when needed. There is no reason why these care facilities must be dreary and dull places, and as more of us head towards a future with some form of assisted living in it, it would be sensible to note what a difference some thought and planning can make to an essential community service like this.
The purpose of care in the UK is to ensure residents of a facility are happy and healthy and supported in whatever way is necessary. Staff at a quality care facility encompass a range of skills, from chefs to nurses, housekeepers and managers. The atmosphere is also important, as residents should feel welcome and safe in attractive surroundings where they can make friends, socialise and feel like valued members of the community.
Innovative Future of UK Care Homes
In years to come, care in the UK could well follow in the path of a complex of new care home facilities that is soon to open in Middlesbrough. For many this will be seen as the future of UK care homes, with its range of features including a pub, a cinema and a post office. It is hoped that the residents – many of whom will be suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia in some form – will be able to enjoy scones in the tea room, see a film, visit the hairdressing salon and spa or have a meal at the American-style diner.
In the future, assisted living facilities could look to this purpose-built complex, which in turn was inspired by a successful project in the Netherlands. The core of the project is an extensive communal space, designed as a working period street. With six functioning “shops” with their own shopfronts, residents can take advantage of a range of experiences, from relaxing in a massage chair to looking at the goods on display in the curiosity shop window. The aim here, and in the future of care homes, is to create an environment where residents can interact in different ways with activities that are drawn from everyday life. The specially built street will also be fitted with traditional lighting, a lovely fountain in its centre and an operational telephone in a red phone box.
Stimulation and Fun in Supportive Environment
The future of care homes could place greater emphasis on providing stimulation like this for the elderly, where they can see a film and then a order a (non-alcoholic) drink and chat with friends at what will be their local pub.
Having their own version of a high street to wander around is intended to give residents a feeling of still being part of normal life, with an enjoyable level of activity and independence. Being busy and occupied in a safe environment could well bring joy and comfort to many of the elderly living there.
New care home facilities are deserving of innovation and excellence. The elderly are entitled to quality care that is enjoyable and preserves their dignity, and development of new and exciting options in this field is probably long overdue.