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York charity highlights care homes ‘stigma’
8:14am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
A MAJOR report on how to end the “stigma and culture of negativity” over care homes has been published by the York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The 82-page report, which was unveiled at yesterday’s National Children and Adults Services (NCAS) Conference, says many care homes fail to engage with their community and lack support from health services and local councils.
Tom Owen, co-director of the three-year project, said: “There is a culture within the UK of care homes being something to dread and avoid at all costs which we need to work hard to change. Care homes can provide compassionate care and companionship for many older people who are at a vulnerable stage in their lives.
“While we know there is lots of good practice out there, too many care homes experience mistrust from the community and statutory services which only serves to increase their feeling of isolation and reduce their capacity to deliver a positive experience for older people.”
He called for more recognition of the importance of care homes, and said: “We all may need their services one day.”
The report also calls for care home staff to be given “protected time” in which they are able to get to know residents and their families better. It also says that the culture of negativity surrounding care homes left some staff embarrassed to say what industry they worked in.
The report can be downloaded from jrf.org.uk