‘We work creatively with older people, relatives and staff to maintain their sense of personal identity and engage in meaningful activity.’
Given the considerable losses that older people often experience when moving to a care home (loss of health, family, community, home); there is a real risk that older people can lose their sense of identity and self esteem. Care homes can play a major role in helping people regain a sense of worth.
Many care homes make real efforts to learn about the older people they care for; not just in terms of their current needs, but also, about their interests, strengths and whole life history. This can help them engage with older people in a more meaningful and positive way.
“It is important for people to realise that what may seem a small matter to the management of the organisation is of great importance to some people living in a place. Everyone has different standards and tastes, but knowing the individual and their ways is helpful.”
There are many approaches care homes can adopt to meet individual needs, including:
- linking with communities;
- thinking creatively about meeting communication needs; and
- being open to meeting particular spiritual, cultural, social and sexual needs sensitively.