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Doing it Well

BJFSeven Steps to dignity and compassion in caring for older people: Guidance for those who care.

The Beth Johnson Foundation (BJF) have launched a new report that looks at care homes and provides insights on how older people in care can be better looked after.

Care homes over recent years have often had a bad press in respect of the mistreatment of older people: too often there have been stories where vulnerable older people, rather than being helped and cared for, have been at best neglected and ignored, and at worst abused. This report looks at some of the solutions.

Doing it Well focuses on helping those who are directly responsible for the care of older people to do their job as well as possible. The guidance delves further into the care setting and explores how individuals being cared for can best be looked after, taking account of their individuality, what they think and want, and their feelings. Although this might seem self-evident, too often such concerns are forgotten in the busy and stretched world of care provision.

The emphasis is on an approach that highlights dignity, compassion and respect – all individual needs of the person cared for. This approach is also important for those around them, their families, loved ones and friends.

The report suggests seven important steps that will help improve the quality of care for older people. The guidance can best be used as an integrated resource for groups of staff or individuals who can take themselves through some of the exercises as an aid to learning and address the issues raised in the report.

The audience for this will primarily comprise of healthcare and social services professionals, managers, nursing staff and care workers – whether working in care homes and hospices or in private domiciliary care. It is also relevant to volunteers, non-profit organisations and charities who work in the sector, as well as being useful to the wider public many of whom have a close friend or family entering the world of care.

The report has been prepared by Amanda Waring in conjunction with BJF.

The work has been in endorsed by leading individuals working in this sector. This includes Des Kelly OBE who comments:

“Congratulations to the Beth Johnson Foundation for having the foresight to commission guidance on caring and being able to draw on Amanda Waring’s extensive depth of knowledge and experience. Delivering care with compassion is absolutely fundamental to improving quality of life. It is key to ensuring that person-centred becomes the norm for everyone receiving care and support, in whatever setting. ‘Doing It Well’ offers practical guidance to care givers in a wonderfully accessible format whilst highlighting the vital importance of the culture of care (and leadership). Used as part of a blended learning approach, I have no doubt it will be a valuable resource both those new to the caring task and experienced carers, as well as those in senior positions. It should be essential reading for anyone with responsibility for providing care and support.”

Elizabeth Purcell: CEO: Lewes-Manning Trust said:

“Amanda Waring is the torch-bearer for older people and those who are at their most vulnerable. Within these pages you will find clear and simple guidance that can only enhance the quality of life for those that are being cared for. Amanda has concentrated her years of experience into an easy to read document which is no small achievement. Never patronising but always empathetic the benefits of this thoughtful guide will positively change practice. Amanda is a highly thought of patron of this hospice and has offered her dignity training for our staff to great effect. Her passion and empathy shines through all she does”.

Colin Hann: Executive Chair of BJF said:

“Care homes are a significant part of the UK social care infrastructure and will grow in the future. Our intention is not to be overly prescriptive or critical of this sector. While recognising the challenges and pressures that staff face in care settings, we emphasise that ultimately what really matters is delivering care with compassion. Our aim is that this guidance will make a solid contribution to showing how this can be achieved”

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