As our loved ones age, they may require additional care and support that cannot be provided at home. A care home can provide a safe and comfortable environment where individuals receive personalised care and assistance with daily tasks whilst maintaining their independence.
However, not all care homes are well suited to the needs of your loved one. While some offer exceptional care and support, others fall short of meeting the expectations of their residents and their families. In this article, we explore what makes an exceptional care home by looking at the essential features that ensure that residents receive high-quality care and support that promotes their physical, emotional, and social well-being.
Guide to Choosing a Good Care Home
There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a care home for your loved one. A good care home will prioritise the physical, emotional, and social needs of its residents and should offer a safe, clean, and comfortable environment, with trained staff who provide personalised care and support.
Safety & Security
Care homes should ensure that residents are safe and secure and have a duty of care to protect their residents from accidents, injuries, and abuse. A good care home addresses:
- Health and safety: Care homes must have policies and procedures in place to ensure that the environment is safe and free from hazards. This includes adequate lighting, safe flooring and regular checks and maintenance of equipment.
- Medication management: Systems should be in place that manage and administer medication safely and effectively. This is often ensured by adequate staff training, regular audits, and clear documentation.
- Security: There should be appropriate security measures in place to prevent unauthorised access onto the premises through secure entry and exit points, CCTV, and regular staff training on security procedures.
- Abuse prevention: Having the relevant policies and procedures in place are important in preventing and responding to abuse. This may be in the form of staff training, regular reviews of policies and procedures, and appropriate reporting systems.
- Emergency preparedness: Plans and procedures to respond to emergencies such as power outages are also important in ensuring the safety of a care home’s residents. Regular drills, staff training, and clear communication with residents and families are a good sign of emergency preparedness.
Culture is a critical aspect of care homes as it shapes the values, beliefs, and behaviours of staff so it’s important to make sure that these values of the care home align with those of your loved one and family. A positive care home culture may include:
- Person-centred care: A culture that values individualised care puts the needs and preferences of residents at the centre of all decisions. Residents and families should be a part of the decision-making so that the resident’s privacy, dignity and autonomy are respected and they are provided with care that is tailored to their needs.
- Staff morale and retention: A positive and supportive culture can increase staff morale and influence them to take pride in their work, leading to better care for residents.
- Diversity and inclusion: Valuing diversity and inclusion is important in promoting a sense of belonging for residents and staff. Care homes should respect different cultures, religions, and lifestyles and provide an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
It is crucial for a care home to have qualified staff that can provide high-quality care and support to residents, promoting their physical, emotional, and social well-being, and meeting regulatory and safety standards. They should have the necessary knowledge, skills, and training to support individuals with complex needs as well as identify potential health problems and provide appropriate interventions, ensuring that residents receive timely and effective care.
Having qualified staff ensures that the care home meets regulatory and safety standards, reducing the risk of accidents, injuries, and infections. They are also important for providing emotional support and guidance to residents and their families, especially during times of illness or distress.
The facilities at a care home can significantly impact the quality of life of residents. The appropriate facilities and equipment should support the needs of its residents in order to keep them safe, ensure their needs are met as well as promoting socialisation, mental stimulation, and physical activity.
- Accommodation: Accommodation is a fundamental care home facility that should be clean, comfortable, and appropriately furnished.
- Accessibility: Facilities should be made accessible to all residents, with features such as wheelchair access, handrails put in place to facilitate mobility and ensure that all residents with a range of physical abilities are accommodated.
- Amenities: There should be a range of amenities to support the physical and mental well-being and socialisation of residents. This may include communal spaces, outdoor areas, libraries, and activities rooms.
- Technology: Access to telehealth services, enabling remote communication with family, and facilitating social activities can all help to enhance the quality of life of loved ones living in care homes.
Good communication between staff, residents, and families contributes to a positive care home environment. Care homes should have regular updates and have information on care plans, health status, and activities readily available to families to help them feel in the loop. The ability to visit and participate in the care of their loved ones is another important factor that contributes to a great care home.
Happy residents are a good indicator of the quality of care provided by the care home as it suggests that the facility is providing a positive and engaging environment that promotes the well-being of its residents. Happy care home residents will have access to a range of social activities and programs that promote mental and physical stimulation and should be treated with respect and dignity as well as some sense of control over their daily routines.
This should indicate that staff are supportive, compassionate, provide the highest standards of care and are creating a positive and welcoming environment that encourages residents to participate in activities and engage with others. A contented environment can help to reduce stress and anxiety, boost self-esteem and self-confidence, and improve overall quality of life.
Barriers to Good Care in Care Homes
In contrast to care homes that provide high-quality care and support to their residents, some care homes face barriers that impact its residents’ quality of life. A lack of resources, inadequate training, and poor communication between staff, residents, and families are among these barriers. Here are a few key factors to look out for that indicate a care home might not be a good match:
- Staff shortages: A lack of qualified staff can put a strain on the care home’s ability to provide personalised care and support to its residents and can lead to staff burnout and turnover, resulting in a lack of continuity of care.
- Insufficient resources: Limited resources, including equipment, facilities, and funding, can restrict the care home’s ability to provide the necessary support and services to its residents.
- Inadequate training: Staff who lack appropriate training and qualifications may not be equipped to provide the highest standards of care to residents, leading to a higher risk of accidents and injuries.
- Poor communication: A lack of communication between staff, residents, and families can lead to misunderstandings, delays in care, and an exclusion of families in decision-making.
- Regulatory compliance: Care homes that fail to comply with regulatory standards puts residents’ health and safety at risk and will lead to a lack of trust and confidence from families.
In summary, barriers to good care in care homes can impact the quality of life of residents and their families. They are definitely something to consider when choosing a care home that can provide the highest standards of care and support for your loved one.
Exceptional Care at The Hollies Nursing Care Home
The Hollies are a friendly, supportive care home community set in a tranquil countryside park located on the edge of Dursley township near Cheltenham, Cirencester, Gloucester and Stroud. With award winning nursing care, dementia care and luxury apartments, the Hollies offer a range of independent and semi independent care within a safe and supportive environment. The Hollies is family run, with a dedicated team of friendly staff at the heart of everything we do.
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