But should we really fear living in a care home?
I have owned and run two care homes for over 35 years. They have been places of immense comfort, joy, peace, pleasure and laughter. Places where emotional and physical needs are met and those and their loved ones who are no longer capable of caring for themselves are enabled to continue their lives with dignity and hope.
It’s a bit like hospitals. We all fear them, but should we? After all, these are the places that restore our health. Yes, there may be some temporary discomfort both emotionally and physically in a hospital but surely those who have dedicated their lives to making us better are in truth not those we should fear.
The truth is, its not the “Care Home” we really do fear. I believe it is something much deeper. The “Care Home” is what we focus on and say we don’t want, but really what we are saying is “we don’t want to get old, be incapacitated, incontinent or confused and have to depend on others to care for us”. Somehow those things make us, in our minds, less of a person than we were, a worthless and helpless individual. But that is not true. Whatever our age or abilities we have value, we are loved and have a history to share. Most of all, we have the remaining “Days of our Lives” to live to the full.
Our care homes are wonderful places to live in. They are secure and warm. The beds are comfy and those who make their home with us enjoy the privacy of their own private bed / sitting rooms often with en suite facilities. If a person gets lonely there are people to talk to both other residents and staff. There is music and laughter. There is always a choice of appetizing home cooked food that appears on the dining table like clockwork no matter how inclement the weather!! You can be assisted with every aspect of personal care by well trained and chatty care assistants. What is more residents see the same staff regularly who really do care and get to know the individual preferences of all our residents.
I really hope that you will come and visit our homes and see for yourself that things in our homes are not quite as you might imagine.
I feel so sad that the fear of being in a care home actually contributed recently to an untimely and tragic death and hope that others are able to find a care home that provides the care that everyone deserves.