Written by Jenny Kartupelis posted on: January 29, 2021
We have all become well aware of the terrible effects of Covid-19 on care homes for older people – not only the tragic loss of life, but also the way in which the necessary precautions have exacerbated the potential problems to be found in residential settings. It is all too easy for older people, and indeed their carers, to feel forgotten, isolated, kept away from loved ones and from all the ordinary small pleasures of life. My recent work has involved interviewing visitors, managers and residents, and all have the same story to tell. By talking up the vulnerability of older people, with the idea of encouraging others to protect them by changing their behaviour, politicians and advisers have unintentionally promoted the already prevalent view that most older people are decrepit, without agency, and need to be sheltered from mainstream life. This is very unfortunate and needs to be addressed. Meanwhile, if you are considering residential care for yourself or a family member, you should still take a positive view: there are many good care homes, if you know what to look for.
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