There is no doubt we, as a society, have an uneasy relationship with care homes. We might feel a host of emotions; anger, mistrust, fear, disappointment. This might arise out of what we read in the press or it may be because of what they represent t
o us as individuals. Given that the work of care homes increasingly revolves around older people who are dying or experiencing high levels of mental and physical frailty, is it that we struggle to emotionally engage with such concepts and therefore push care homes from our minds? Might it be that we are more comfortable with an image of ourselves being active and engaged in later life and that care homes bring us back to the uncomfortable reality that for some of us growing old may not be so idyllic? Is it that care homes present to us some degree of societal failure that we are not looking after our own?
Lets not forget that care homes are often making significant positive differences to the lives of our elders but greatly need our help. While care homes remain ‘islands of the old’, mistrusted and isolated from our communities, it is difficult to transform them into valued, cherished places that sit at the heart of our communities and have relevance to us all.
Tom Owen, My Home Life Director.