With a growing sense of negativity surrounding care homes at the moment, many are bringing out new strategies to fight it and contest ageist stereotypes; including sex, football and rock ‘n’ roll.
With the focus on poor care quality it is understandable that care homes are getting a bad name, however it is also shadowing the great work that many other care homes are doing. Carehome.co.uk has recently launched a competition called ‘Care Home Idol’ to help highlight care homes with people enjoying their time there.
Davina Ludlow, director of carehome.co.uk, says: “Care Home Idol is an annual competition that will open a window on the active and talented communities that thrive inside care homes. When you look at the performances that have already been uploaded, you see smiles and people having fun. It also shows the warm relationships that can exist between the staff and residents.”
Many care homes are now thinking of new and creative ways to bring some positivity and outweigh the negativity currently surrounding them. Anchor care homes residents have formed the ‘Anchor Community Band’ and have written and performed their own charity single titled ‘See Yourself’ which reached number on in the Amazon singles chart and number 17 in the official indie chart.
Anchor Community Band manager Carl Martin says: “It’s a really powerful song because the words are telling younger people that the older generation are exactly the same as them, with just a bit more life experience.”
Family Mosaic housing, one of London’s largest care providers, are challenging the assumption that older people are different from others in society by appointing 12 sex champions to teach staff that sex is a natural part of life for older and disabled people.
Football is under the same stigma as sex and is often seen as a younger person’s thing. However many care homes are aware that being a football fan is something that sticks with a person for life and one care home in Scotland takes their residents to football matches. It is also planning on creating a group for residents who are unable to make it to the grounds to reminisce about football memories.
The former care minister, Paul Burstow, has recently launched a Commission on Residential Care aimed at designing a new care home model suitable to the rock and roll generation.
Mr Burstow said in his speech: “For many, the thought of residential care is a source of dread, an unwelcome last resort. Media reporting of care has fuelled the negative stereotype.”
He said we need to turn care homes “from a place where the curtains are drawn and no one really knows what is going on in them to places of laughter and light”.
Whilst care homes with poor standards is still an issue and should not be shied away from, it is also important to remember that there are care homes out there doing good too, and they should not be overlooked.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/681063