Elderly should be allowed their own furniture in care homes

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The Care Minister, Norman Lamb, said that care homes should be fitted with the furniture and personal items of its occupants to make it feel like a home from home.

Norman Lamb said that many residents, particularly those suffering dementia, feel confused and alienated when they are placed in an unfamiliar environment.

He stated that from October, 25000 care homes will be subject to an inspection scheme to determine whether they are creating a real feeling of the resident’s home.

He added that taking a bit of furniture and other furnishings, such as a bedspread will make residents feel more comfortable and view the care home as a home, rather than a strange environment.

According to Mr Lamb, the care home has to be flexible and whatever will make the individual more comfortable is what should be focused on.

Care homes that do not meet the standards of the inspection may be placed into ‘special measures’. This means that they will be given the opportunity to improve their service or face being closed. The Care Quality Commission, the care home watchdog, has admitted that in the past, it failed the elderly and the vulnerable as it feared legal repercussion from care homes which are privately managed.

Mr Lamb added that the introduction of more robust ratings and inspections of care homes will hopefully result in care homes creating a real sense of a resident’s home as this will boost their ratings.

The policy programme manager for social care at Age UK, Lesley Carter, said that there are huge benefits to the elderly having their personal items around them. She said they may not recognise that it is their own, but if they touched it, it would evoke memories and feel familiar.

The head of the Care Quality Commission stated in an interview that it has often retreated from attempting to close homes that were unsafe and generally did not fight back when it was challenged from a legal standpoint.

The chairman of CQC, David prior, vowed that this approach would be changed and they would become ‘much more robust’ in challenging poor care providers.

He stated that according to the data at hand, at least 750 care homes that provide care to the elderly and the disabled have failed to reach at least one basic standard for longer than 12 months.

Image Credit: k4dordy

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