Care homes urged to provide better activities

BERLIN, GERMANY – AUGUST 30: An elderly resident (R) sits at a table while participating in an afternoon get-together in the community room of the Sewanstrasse senior care home in Lichtenberg district on August 30, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. The center opens its doors to non-residents every Tuesday, and between 30 and 70 retired people who still live in their own homes in the local neighborhood come to dance and chat over coffee and cake. Today’s afternoon dance is part of Senior Citizens’ Week (Berliner Seniorenwoche), a city initiative meant to highlight activities available for the city’s eldery. Germany is facing significant demographic change that includes elderly citizens making up an increasing portion of the overall population, a situation aggravated by the country’s birth rate, which is the lowest in Europe. The shift will continue to put greater strain on the country’s ability to finance its public health and senior care programs. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Care home reviews website Carehome.co.uk has urged operators to raise their game after research revealed one in 10 residents and relatives rated activities ‘poor’ or ‘satisfactory’.

The Carhome.co.uk research showed that only half (52%) of residents and relatives rated care home activities as ‘excellent’,  with one in 10 saying they were ‘very poor’, ‘poor’ or ‘satisfactory’. Just over a third (37%) said activities were good.

On the plus side, 82% of residents and relatives gave homes an excellent rating for Dignity and Staff, closely followed by Care and Support (79%), and Management (76%). Only 64% gave the highest rating for food and drink.

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Davina Ludlow, director of Carehome.co.uk, said: “It is so reassuring to see that a high number of reviews are receiving the top rating for Dignity and Care and Support. There are so many care homes out there that provide such good care to all their residents and these reviews prove this.

“It is however vital that care homes ensure residents are also stimulated and take part in meaningful activities. As someone who has worked for a long time in the sector, and who has had personal experience of a loved one living in a care home, I know just how beneficial activities can be for residents.”

The National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA) has found that care homes that enable residents to participate in regular activities help to reduce the likelihood of residents suffering a fall, losing their independence, or getting depression.

Stimulating and getting people living with dementia involved in activities has also been found to improve their wellbeing and reduce agitation.

 

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