Jonathan Freeman MBE, CEO of the CareTech Charitable Foundation, explains why connecting care homes with their local communities is so important
Now, more than ever, it is important that care homes become central to their communities, rather than languishing on their peripheries. The recent pandemic has had and is still impacting on the nature of this relationship. There has been an enforced barrier between care home residents and their families and friends, which has highlighted the need for a deeper connection at a community level, capable of withstanding local as well as existential threats such as the pandemic.
When you think about a care home, you will typically imagine a setting with a resident and their carer chatting together. The carer will focus on the care of the resident and work diligently to ensure their needs are always met. The residents will eat together, catch up with the news, or even recreate a pub quiz. Care homes are an important part of society and, postpandemic, the importance of connecting with the local community cannot be overemphasised.
There are many misconceptions about care homes and what they represent. Many people do not think about the fact that, one day, they or someone in their family may need to be in a care home. It is all a bit too difficult to think about. Often, therefore, the only perception the public have of a care home is what they may read or watch in the media. As we know, the vast majority of care homes provide fantastic person-centred care that allow residents to live active, healthy, and fun lives. We need to show this so much better than we tend to
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