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We need to care about care

Care homes get a mixed bag of coverage in the media, but Life reader, Sandra Russell, said it's unfair and not a stage of life she's dreading.

Sandra's story

I lived with my beloved mother for 22 years and it broke my heart when she developed vascular dementia and I had to put her in a care home aged 93. Five years on and thanks to the excellent care she receives in her care home, she is very content and will be 99 years old this September.

Regrettably, there is a lot of negative publicity about care homes, which can only have a detrimental effect on the public who already dread needing care in their old age. Surely we should acknowledge the good work done by care homes and those who work in them. A care home becomes the "home" of each resident and so it is imperative that he or she feels happy and secure in it. Carers must remain calm, patient and caring at all times especially when, a resident occasionally can be aggressive and abusive.

Carers do a very stressful job in extremely difficult circumstances and for minimum remuneration. A limited number of carers have numerous residents to look after. The work involves personal care, ensuring residents eat and drink sufficiently and providing activities to stimulate them throughout the day.

Furthermore, carers have to attend training sessions to improve their techniques and, as they gain in knowledge and experience, they take diploma courses to advance their skills. Consequently, as the elderly population increases and more help is required to look after them, care homes should be given as much support as possible in providing this much-needed care of our sick and elderly. In order to maintain good standards, those who are willing to work in them should be paid a respectable wage and given recognition for the valuable service they provide.

Perhaps then the public would be left with the message that care homes are a place of refuge and safety, where they can expect to be well looked after in their later years. After all, what state would the country be in without them?

Find the best care home for you

For more information on care homes, how to find the best one for you and what to look out for visit our webpage Finding a Care Home.

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Last updated: Oct 16 2017

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