Reader Letter: A little more care needed over care
PUBLISHED: 09:31 29 March 2018
“No one wants to think about ending up in a care or nursing home” says Rachel Moore (Opinion March 22). No one likes to think about going to the dentist but we would be in a sorry state if dentist’s didn’t exist. It is this reinforcement in the belief that life in a care or nursing home is something to be dreaded, rather embraced as a logical route in the pathway to a long and fulfilling life, which is causing anxiety to people of all ages. As a regulated industry we tend to get to know about the failures in care homes. We hear less about the successes, which is as much to do with care providers getting on with the job in hand, often under very stressful circumstances. We hear mention of a lack of understanding between young and older people. In the comfort and warmth of a family setting, the relationship between a grandchild and a grandparent is seen as something special. How does that relationship become less significant when the younger generation is receiving little more than minimum wage to provide that surrogate loving care? Care homes are the equivalent of a careers office for those wishing to get on the ladder of a number of professions but we rarely hear about it. Office administration, reception, accountancy, sales and marketing, publishing, website design and management, catering, gardening, landscaping and property maintenance are some of the potential career options to pursue following work in a care setting, in addition to the more obvious one of hands on care provision.
The basic requirement for anyone entering the care sector is a genuine interest and desire to service the needs of the person who ultimately pays your salary. In other areas of business it’s called customer service. Those with hobbies involving, singing, dancing, craft work, amateur dramatics, gardening, nature appreciation, to name but a few, have skills which can translate into meaningful activities for care or nursing home residents and there’s usually an expanse of green space within the grounds of the care home to practice them.
National Care Home Open Day on April 21 will be an opportunity for care and nursing home owners to show how they value their staff and for families of care home residents to explore what might be available in the wider community to support them and their loved one in the care setting. It is only one day in the year but perhaps it will be the start of a process which aims to turn the status of “carer” into that of “career”.
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