Care home sweet home: care home of the future

Author: Mark Mason

Jul 18, 2012 | REPORTS

This new ‘futures’ report draws on the challenges facing
residential care homes over the next 20 years. ILC-UK argues for the
care home to become a ‘community hub’, integrating services and
resources into the mainstream of local communities.

Well documented certainties in demographic change (particularly
ageing) will shape the way that society is able to deliver services. It
is no longer the case that domestic policies are solely shaped by
domestic finances. More than ever the volatility of the world’s economic
situation exerts pressure on how people live their lives in any
country. And that varies daily. Domestically, changes are required in
response –developments in savings, loans, pensions and employment shape
and drive policy on a large scale.

Within this landscape is a continuing challenge of how care homes
will fit in to the spectrum of future social care: more particularly,
how care home services can be delivered in ways which are flexible and
respond to the changing aspirations of 21st-century residents.

ILC-UK, with the support of Barchester Healthcare, has produced this
‘Futures’ report, which aims to understand and explain how care homes
will need to develop to respond to a changing world. Trends have been
identified that current stakeholders and partners feel will have an
impact on the care home sector over the next 20 years. Issues relating
to changes in the workforce, resident care, technology and the
environment have been considered and potential responses to them
suggested. If we are to deliver our vision of the care home of the
future, policy and practice initiatives must deliver solutions to:

  • ‘chronic difficulties’ in the recruitment and retention of care home staff
  • better engaging the community with care homes
  • making the most of the potential of new technology
  • finding a sustainable funding model for care which ensures that the care home can deliver quality personalised services
  • creating an informed care consumer
  • protecting vulnerable adults without over-regulating and thus stifling innovation.
  • the sustainability of the environment through, for example, better management of the consumption of energy and water
  • tackling societal ageism.

We believe this can be done by making the care home a real ‘community
hub’, by bringing it into the mainstream of community life and creating
a more integrated society.

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Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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