Commissioning care homes: common safeguarding challenges
Common safeguarding issues – Lack of social inclusion
People in residential care and their relatives often complain of lack of stimulation, activity, opportunities for social interaction, including sexual relationships, and community participation. The results of inactivity and social isolation can be experienced as harmful and abusive by individuals and can have a negative effect on mental health and general wellbeing. Commissioners should ensure that service specifications include support to access social activities and opportunities for community participation.
- The home provides frequent opportunities for individuals to be supported in activities of their choice both within the home and in the community.
- Each resident has a care plan that outlines their preferred social activities, who they prefer to spend their time with and how they wish to be supported.
- Individuals' preferred activities are supported and not restricted by staff shift patterns.
- Residents are encouraged to form relationships, and supported to safely pursue sexual relationships if they wish.
- Transport is not a barrier to participation and individuals are supported to use transport that suits their needs.
- Friends and family members are welcomed and are able to spend as much as time as they wish with their friend/relative.
- Specific attention is given to those people who are at particular risk of social isolation because of mental incapacity, physical disability, or lack of family or friends. Action to be taken is recorded in their care plan.