Peter Bates > Thinking about care homes

Thinking about care homes

Find below a range of resources on the following topics:

  • The impact of physical environment and belongings
  • Are care homes like a family?
  • Eating together
  • Building community connections
  • Going out and transport
  • Risk assessment
  • Locked environments (forensic hospitals)
  • Closing a care home and transferring to a new place

The last homely house

What makes a house a home? When a person with disabilities moves from their own home to live in a residential care facility or some other place, they lose their home. Others retain their own home, but it is invaded by an army of well-meaning health and care staff, who unwittingly make the person homeless, even if they still hold the deeds or the tenancy. If we understand what makes a house a home, then we can perhaps learn to uphold the person’s sense of home. For an introduction, read a short blog about beds and another about stairs, or go for a detailed reviewed of the literature at How to make a homely care home.

We’re just like a family

As well as calling on ideas of home, many residential care facilities choose to describe themselves as ‘just like a family’. In this companion piece to How to make a homely care home we consider How to make a family-based care home.

How to close or relocate a service

Medieval texts on the art of dying focused on the final moments of good people and the modern hospice movement has added quality of life to the palliative care agenda. Lessons can be borrowed from the literal death of the individual and applied to the closure of organisations, teams and services that are killed off by Covid-19, austerity or the machinations of commissioning. Should we think together about closure and relocation of health and social care services?

Painting the minibus

Should vehicles that belong to health and social care services carry their name, logo or other messages? Do these coachpainted adverts deserve the name stigmobile? Read more…

Inclusive risk assessment

Do risk assessment forms commonly include the expectation that people will participate in inclusive community settings and engage with the general public? A long risk assessment form for outings from a care home or similar setting is offered here here along with a one-page summary called ‘7 Great Questions

Time to Connect

In this project funded by the Big Lottery, I worked with NDTi colleagues to support staff working in care homes and people involved in TimeBanks. The goal was to support care home residents to get a more included life in the community. Here’s some of the resources generated through the project:

Eating together

As highlighted above, we have been asking if staff in congregate care settings sit down to a shared meal with the people that they support. Who pays? When people go out and call at a cafe, pub or restaurant, do the staff eat and who pays for the meal? Read more… 

Striving for Excellence in locked rehabilitation

This programme is largely for independent and voluntary sector providers of locked residential rehabilitation services for people with mental health issues or learning disabilities living in the English East Midlands. It comprises (i) a series of seminars for key staff and people using services to promote a more personalised and inclusive approach; (ii) a shared sense of what excellent services look like, captured in an excellence framework; (iii) learning exchange visits between members which lead to individual action plans for each service; and (iv) stories of how services are striving for excellence that capture and share ideas for service improvement. We have recently developed a page of resources here on the introduction of the smoking ban. Networking groups in the East Midlands include:

  • The Striving for Excellence Programme
  • East Midlands Recovery and Outcomes Group – contact here.
  • The East Midlands Learning Disability Nurse Network – here.
  • The East Midlands Acquired Brain Injury Forum
  • Independent Neurorehabilitation Alliance – here