There are lots of ways you might get involved in your local care home to help to bridge the gap between care homes and the communities around them.
Many of us walk past care homes every day without stepping inside and finding out more about the people who live and work there. Lots of homes run events, particularly in the summer and around Christmas – or in Care Home Open Day – why not drop in and see if anything’s happening soon?
If you’re part of a community group of any kind and one of your members has moved into a care home, you could think about how you might continue to include them in the group. Even if you arranged with your group and the care home to come in for a special visit once in a while, you can help to keep that person connected with something they might otherwise have to leave behind. Watch the ‘Eyes’ video to see the difference something like bringing someone’s choir rehearsal back into their lives can have.
If you’re running a community event, think about the people in care homes in your area – have you let them know something’s going on? Support for visits outside the care home is usually available – but it takes a bit of forward planning. Try to give people some notice that something’s happening. You could also think about asking care homes if they have any space they could lend out to groups who need some somewhere for a meeting.
Many care homes welcome volunteers with different backgrounds and interests. Some volunteers spend time with older people as befrienders – and others help out by doing some gardening. Talk to your local care home about how you might help out and build up a sense of community in the home.
If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering happening in care homes around the country, see our Useful links page.