Breaking the Stigma of The Care Industry
Whenever there is a news report regarding abuse by a carer, whether that be in an institution, care home, or by an individual, it is highly emotive. Carers are engaged to look after their charge in their best way, helping them with daily lifestyle duties as well as looking after their health. Failure to do so is seen as negligence or abuse.
News reports about failures in care do not help the reputation of UK care facilities, one of the most recent being in Birmingham, where a 101-year-old was being manhandled by her carer while having her faced washed. The issue with bad press like this is that it paints a negative image about the industry, portraying the patients as victims as they are frequently mistreated by their carers. But, while there are many carers like this, we cannot forget those who do provide quality care and respect for their patients, but are unfortunately overshadowed by the horror stories.
A report by the Quality Care Commission in 2017, described care choice as “Russian roulette”.
If you are in a position where you need to consider care for a family member or partner, it is important you make the right choice. You want to ensure the care option you settle on will deliver the required level of care as well as a comfortable life for your loved one.
There are many issues that return to the forefront when it comes to care home reports, one of the most common being staff training. Due to the abundance of negative press on care workers, meaning that, when researching the right option for your loved one, you need to be vigilant in making sure that all carers are fully trained and reliable. This also applies to homecare options, such as live-in care.
Selecting a CQC Regulated Carer Provider is one of the best ways to go, as this means they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and you will be able to access an-indepth report on findings of regular CGC investigations..
As far as a career within the care industry goes, it is apparently not considered as one of the most appealing places to work. But, as described in the linked Nursing Times article, nurses often feel ‘welcomed’ into nursing homes and found getting to know the residents was an unforgettable experience.
The Qualities of a Good Care Home
Choosing a residential care home is a big undertaking. Your family member will be moving from their home to a new and different way of life. To ensure you choose the right one for your loved one, you have to go beyond the glossy, colourful brochure to really understand the qualities of a good care facility.
Every resident should be treated and cared for as an individual, and they should be treated with dignity and respect. According to the Alzheimer’s Society “person-centred care takes into account each individual’s unique qualities, abilities, interests, preferences and needs.”
The quality of carers is what undermines the care industry in a way, as the majority of bad press focuses on poor treatment of patients. In July 2019, the Daily Express stated that millions who receive care ‘were at the mercy of an unlicensed and unskilled workforce.’ As a result of this, a complete overhaul of the industry has been called, including improved training and suitable regulation in order to fix the system that’s currently ‘systemically broken,’ according to Labour MP Louise Haigh.
A good care home will ensure all staff are well trained and will employ specialists as required; maybe, someone trained in dementia care for example.
The care facility should be comfortable and enable the patient to feel at home and make it fee like they have their own living space. It should not feel like a hospital, nor should it feel like a hotel.
Qulaity of life and lifestyle choices should not come to a halt just because a person has moved into a care home. A resident still requires mental, emotional, and physical stimuli to live a fulfilling life. A good care home will cater to needs across the board, providing leisure facilities and organising activities.
A thorough inspection of the care facilities and interviews with staff are essential in making the right choice.
The Alternative – Live-In Care
Most people as they age would prefer to stay in their own home rather than move into residential care, as they get to remain in a familiar environment. But, like care homes, live-in care also comes with a stigma.
When choosing options such as this, these are the things you should consider.
Independence – The person requiring care retains control over their time and activities.
Companionship – The presence of a carer means the patient doesn’t spend long periods of time alone. The care/patient relationship often grows into a friendship.
Quality – There is a high level of care as it is provided on a one-to-one basis. Care is also delivered as and when required. Simply because of the intimate relationship, care is responsive and proactive.
Lifestyle – As the patient remains in their own home, their life can proceed as usual (with adjustments for the care needed). This means couples can stay together and any pets can be kept.
Normality – Life is only disrupted by the care requirements and not by the upheaval and complete change of home and lifestyle.
Peace of Mind – Both the patient and their family know that care is always at hand.