Care Home Issues …

Here we want to look at care homes from the point of view of a family caregiver – perhaps one who no longer feels able to care for a loved one at home, or one at a loss to know how to choose the right care home, or one who’s made that choice, but still wants to feel involved in their loved one’s care.

We also want to hear the views of staff who work in care homes.

  • What do you feel about your working conditions?
  • Do you feel respected by your managers and by the people you work with?
  • Is there anything you’d like to see done differently for the residents?
  • What do you feel about your interaction with their families?
  • Would you like more training in caring for people with dementia, or to know more about how it affects people?
  • And if you’re a manager yourself, are you confident about meeting the needs of residents with dementia and their families? Are there any changes – other than purely financial – that would make it easier to provide the kind of service you would ideally like to see?

It’s an unfortunate fact that the general public hears very little about what goes on in care homes until there is a report of alarmingly bad practice. The recent secret camera footage shown on BBC’s Panorama is a good example.  It showed not just some appalling practice in a British care home, but also staff who seemed to have a chilling lack of concern for the feelings of another human being – in this case, an 80 year old woman with dementia.

Snapshots like this don’t present a balanced picture. They tell us little about what the root of the problem was in that particular home at that time.  Poor management?  Demoralised staff?  Nor do they give us any idea of whether this kind of abuse is widespread or isolated.

One thing they certainly can do is strike terror into the heart of anyone about to entrust a relative into residential care.  Can they really trust the brochure, or the manager, or even (as the Panorama case suggested) the Care Commission reports for that home?  What really happens behind those closed doors?

Maybe the whole idea of “closed doors” is the first thing we need to challenge.  Not the physical doors, but the unseen barriers that get in the way of open, constructive debate about care home services, and make it very difficult for us to know what exactly goes on there.

Plenty of good things happen in care homes, even the poorly rated ones, but we hear very little about them.   Often staff on very low wages are performing minor miracles on a daily basis.  We know about these things not because of the brochures or the Care Inspectorate reports, but because of what we hear from people who’ve been there and witnessed them happening.   We’d like to provide a platform here for those people to share their experiences for the benefit of others.

What we want is to bring family carers, care home staff, owners, providers and anyone else with an interest together in a conversation about what’s good, bad and indifferent in these services.  We want to highlight and spread the word about the good things wherever they’re happening (see Ann’s visit to the Sneha Mandir care home in Goa) and help eliminate the bad.

We need family carers to tell us – and tell each other – what they feel about the care provided to their relatives.  And as we said, we also want to hear from the staff in care homes. The fact is that the people who actually provide the care for the residents have somehow been left out of any debate about what they are doing – perhaps because they feel their jobs might be vulnerable.  Contributors to our site will always have the option to remain anonymous.

Above all, we’d like you to help us think about how we can all work together to make things better.  

The conversation starts here by email or leave a comment below.

 

8 Comments

  1. Beware of Priory Group. They are employing people in unpaid posts in their care homes. Who are these people they’re employing? Can we trust them?

  2. Hi my name is Ivo Cabral and I am a born and raised citizen of Goa- India.
    Currently I am a resident of Canada. I also have a youger brother who just graduated from Goa university.
    My mom ha passed away in 2003. On the other end my dad go a stroke in 2007 and he is still paralysed on right hand side.
    Since my dad has got a stroke he needs a bed side assistance especially his daily sponge, breakfast, lunch, dinner. Otherwise to live by himself for couple hours he definitely stays good. No problems.
    As my brother always takes care of him day to day and also he does his studies at the same time. Actually I wanted my brother to do some courses in which can be involved going to banglore or Bombay or etc.

    I was wandering if there will be any chances for my dad to stay in your organization. Heard a lot of good things about you guys. But this help will be to us to me and to my brother so he can choose to do his further studies for his future career.

    I really appreciate the help if any chance exits.
    Please send me an email or contact me directly at cell or land line.

    Have a great day,
    I remained,
    Ivo Cabral
    Canada

  3. Hi, i love this site. I am a senior carer with a Diploma in palliative care who has written a book which will be out early next year. There is also a blog on my website for people to share their experiences. I love what you are doing and have seen and experienced some horrific experiences of so called care before my current job. 16 years to find a home that truly cares and management and beyond care about their residents. My final straw to make me write my book was after a Nurse Manager at a home told me i was rubbish at my job as i show emotional attachments to residents, i should clear the room and get a new resident in ASAP, they are only a number and a staffs wage packet. This is one of too many experiences that will always haunt me as well as when official people have ignored concerns and turned the other cheek.

  4. Read this book written by a carer

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IRHBP0M

    • Thank you for sharing this with us Gerald.

  5. hi people,,i have read almost all of your bloggs,re care homes and home carers,,i cared for my mother with dementia for 5 years before she passed away. Most of our stories are so similiar,the tears,theirs and ours,,the fear they experience when their loved ones become strangers to them,,and their surroundings alien.heartbreak
    is an understatement, Hand on heart i cried with joy for her when she got her peace,,no more fear,,pain and bewilderment for my darling mum. i miss her of course,,but i never wished her back ,as even one more hour
    for me to see her in such distress was not an option. My daughter is 22 yrs old now,,she has p[rofound
    disabilities and lives at home with me and her brother. so i have personal experience of life as a carer,of the aged and the young,both of whom are very dear to me emotionally. its a very very hard job,,full of love,yes,but tears and frustration abound also. thanks for letting me share,and for reading my contribution,,

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience Lottie.

  6. Visiting care homes as part of the process of choosing who will care for you or a relative can be an overwhelming experience. With the worry of getting it wrong weighing heavily on your mind, it can seem almost impossible to think straight and such visits go by in a blur. SO i choose stainton.northeastcarehomes.com

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