According to the Telegraph, one in eight care homes has closed in the last decade in the UK. In total, the number of care homes has dropped from 12,592 to 10,980. A huge drop despite a rapidly ageing population. More and more seniors are reluctant to go into care homes because of the cost but also the way care homes are managed and maintained. So, what qualifies as a good care home? How can we improve them?
Accessibility and mobility
Most care home residents are over 85 years old, with many complex health care needs including diseases, disabilities and difficult conditions that may reduce their life expectancy. That’s why, it is important to offer residents the best medical equipment to make their stay the most comfortable and easy-going possible. For example, the building needs to be accessible to wheelchairs and ambulances at the entrance but also on the inside with ramps, stair lift, handrails, etc.
Providing your care home with care home vehicles is a must, indeed these cars are carefully designed to provide comfortable care home transport solutions which address the needs of both disabled and able-bodied users. Specialised companies such as Allied Fleet offer that kind of service.
The comfort of home
For many residents, their care home will be their last destination and that’s why it is important to make it as homely and warm as possible. Cosy and inviting communal spaces but also giving residents the possibility of personalizing their own rooms and bringing along their own pets to create that special home feeling.
Just as in their previous home, meal times are essential. Firstly, meals provide a chance for the residents to come together and socialism but it’s also a great way to maintain their health. Providing a menu that respects people’s taste, dietary requirements but also cultural preference is a great way to make them feel appreciated and listened to.
It’s also essential to keep seniors active to maintain their physical and mental health. Regular activities such as art classes, bingo, flower arranging, or gentle exercise can make a big difference to their daily lives.
We’ve seen more and more care homes bringing schoolchildren and residents together for a chat or to play games. Or even supporting them to keep going to the clubs and societies that they used to attend.
Leaving the comfort of their home can be difficult at first, but if a care home is built around the needs of the residents, but also provide them with a second home feeling and not a hospital alternative, it can keep residents engaged, happy and living life to the full.