What makes a good care home?
Mum never wanted to go into a care home; she used to say “they are all full of old people sitting around sleeping.” She based this on her visits to ‘old people’s homes’ when she used to entertain them as a member of her local church club choir – when she was in her eighties!
Her memory was deteriorating, and it was becoming more obvious that despite the home care she was receiving in addition to the many hours of family care, this was not enough to keep her well and safe at home.
We found a lovely care home. I was given a ‘fob’ to open the front door and I was told this is your Mum’s home, so come and go as you please; just visit her like you did before.
Mum was so happy, she had her own room, personalised with photographs and memorabilia, she had her own TV and her daily newspaper delivered.
She went out in the minibus, she enjoyed activities, she had her hair done, and her feet! She was also able to attend a church services on Sunday which was very important to her. There was such a friendly relaxed atmosphere, no set meal times or routines, everything revolved around how people were and what they wanted to do and at what time. Person-centred care at its very best. Mum enjoyed many impromptu sing-a-longs, and an old film on TV or making cakes, which were then eaten for tea. She loved hats and beads and would select a hat and beads from the coat stand in the corridor whenever she passed by I never knew what she would be wearing on her head when I visited!
The wonderful staff knew Mum so well, her likes, dislikes and little foibles; they treated her with compassion, devotion and humour.
There were phone calls on days when Mum was having a really good day, very bright and alert and staff wanted me to know so that I could visit her and enjoy this.
So many things that made a difference; when Mum went off her food, a carer went out and bought a variety of snacks which were then left for her to eat at will and when Mum returned from hospital following a fall, carers were able to rehabilitate her and get her walking again where the hospital had failed.
At the end of her life Mum became weak, spending much of the time asleep. During that time she was never alone, and everything was done to keep her comfortable. The last days of her life were calm and serene; she was cared for by carers who knew and loved her and this gave me great comfort.
Many thanks to Marianne Manser for sharing her story.
A birthday present to our network
Over the coming 12 months, we will be sending out a host of tools, badges, stickers and briefings to our network to help them celebrate the great things that they are doing in care homes and share their great stories with us!
Celebrating the great work that you are delivering
We will be taking part in events across the country (list of UK events coming soon) to celebrate the great work we are doing and keep sharing stories of best practice on our website.
Creating new insights and evidence
We will be updating the evidence base for quality in care homes and sharing new insights and stories that come out of the year’s celebrations.
The My Home Life team are delighted to announce the launch of our My Home Life newspaper. The paper is full of news from our March Retreat, interviews with care home staff and articles sharing best practice. Share your thoughts and comments with us below.
To celebrate National Good Care Week in April, registered manager Tui Shirley speaks to the Guardian’s Social Care Network about how the My Home Life Leadership Support Programme helps in the day to day running of the care home. You can read the article here.
Take a look at our spring newsletter for news on our Retreat, and 2012 highlights from our two co-directors Tom Owen and Professor Julienne Meyer.
Our Retreat is only a fortnight away – click on the link below to take a look at our Programme for the two day event on 18th & 19th March 2013. Day 1 will cater towards care home managers from across England, who will be reunited for group discussions and networking. The doors will be thrown open to other guests on Day 2, who will include Former Minister for Care Services Paul Burstow. There will be an opportunity to put forward open questions to the Panel, consisting of Des Kelly (NCF), Professor Martin Green OBE (ECCA), Michelle Mitchell (Age UK), Professor Julienne Meyer (Executive Director, My Home Life) and John Moore (My Home Life Cymru).
Feel free to email/tweet us the aspects of the Retreat that you are looking forward to!
There’s still time to register if you would like to attend.
On 15th September 2011, the Government launched Caring for our future: shared ambitions for care and support – an engagement with people who use care and support services, carers, local councils, care providers, and the voluntary sector about the priorities for improving care and support.
My Home Life Brighton and Hove launched on the 24th May. The day attracted a broad range of providers from the independent and voluntary sector, as well as local authority, who came together to hear what the programme has to offer to support and improve quality of life of those who are living, dying, visiting and working in their care homes. The day long launch session proved to be an excellent start at bringing people together to share good practice, ideas and positive action.
Launched at a conference yesterday, the first of the My Home Life regional websites has now gone live.
My Home Life Medway launched last week, and was highly praised by those managers who attended. The day was seen as particularly useful for the amount of information sharing which went on. With discussions about – amongst other things – dental practices which accommodate older people within the home environment, ideas around end of life care and bereavement packs that homes have put together, doll therapy, pet therapy, domestic chores involving residents and cinema nights.