A New Culture is needed in Caring for the Elderly

Post date: Jan 21, 2015 1:28:32 PM

Today we received a distressed call from an elderly friend after they had read an article in The Daily Mail last week titled ‘Police probe at crisis care home: Three elderly residents are found with unexplained injuries as watchdog keeps families in dark over appalling treatment'. This left her feeling very vulnerable and frightened about her future prospect of going into residential care. This is very worrying; in the current climate it seems that a number of homes are not reaching the required level of care to continue trading or comply with required standards.

We have seen a number of homes close down because of inappropriate service being delivered to their clients. From our experience this might be due to financial difficulties, exacerbated by inadequate social funding for placements; therefore running the home on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, in other instances this is due to maximising profits to the detriment of the residents. Many care home providers lack care experience and buy residential and nursing homes as an investment to make money.

We feel this is an urgent matter that needs to be immediately addressed.

We have seen that many care home managers are inundated with a lot of paperwork which can lead the operational management of the home inactive causing safeguarding issues and non-compliance. It is sad to see when struggling care homes are offered help on a consultancy basis, they refuse because they do not wish to spend extra money. We also find that home managers and providers are reluctant to follow recommendations especially if their practice is being questioned.

We need to promote a culture of ‘can care’ and transparency in all homes. This will give confidence to elderly people who may have to reside in these homes in the future. Therefore, it is imperative that homes accept professional help and recommendations from experienced professional consultants and clinical commissioning groups.