Care home ‘in’ the community
A care home which is open to the local community is able to provide many benefits to the residents by means of interaction with the community outside its doors. It can also become a valuable resource for the community.
Care Homes as community hubs: Friends of the Elderly are looking at how care homes can be transformed into community hubs that use local resources and assets. Supported by SCIE / TLAP
Checklist for owners and managers
Going out can support independence, resilience, self-esteem, group solidarity and individual mobility:
- Support people to continue to pursue their own interests outside the home wherever possible, and maintain their membership of clubs or organisations.
- Individuals, or groups of residents can go out to entertainments (cinema, concert, theatre, sport), learning opportunities, talks or political meetings, libraries – rather than sit in a common room. Staffing levels should support this.
- People who have had their own gardens or allotments will miss them, and the health benefits they bring. Is there gardening to do at the home; gardens to visit?
Bringing the ‘outside’ in
Bringing the ‘outside’ in, can widen residents’ horizons, multiply services, combat loneliness and depression, and break down stereotypes:
- Is there a group of people who play cards, or board games in the home: can outsiders join in? Is there a local bridge group who could play in the home, with residents?
- Could you offer part of your grounds or garden to a local school, so that residents and children could collaborate in gardening?
- Is there a local book club in the locality which residents can join – outside or inside the home?
Magic Me is an arts charity which brings the generations together to build stronger communities: watch their video about bringing cocktail parties into care homes.
Alive! is a charity which aims to improve the lives of older people living in care homes through engaging them in a range of worthwhile activities. Find out more about what they offer in their activity sessions.
Technology can help to break down barriers between the outside world and the care home. Remember its potential for communication, shopping, learning and entertainment. Can the community provide the hardware, teachers or co-learners in the home?
Barclay’s Digital Eagles offer free ‘Tea and Teach’ sessions across the UK, which focus on improving digital skills among older people.