National Care Home Open Day provides a chance to tell the truth about the way we look after our older people in this country, a care champion said today.
Care provider Mike Padgham said the country was bombarded with negative news about standards of care in care homes when the truth was very different.
He said next week’s open day celebration was an opportunity to counter a distorted and misleading picture.
“We would never claim that every home is perfect and it is only right that bad care is exposed. Nobody could ever condone poor care in a care home – one case is a case too many – but the truth is that up and down the country care providers are doing a fantastic job, despite having very little support,” he said.
“In every town across the country thousands of older, frail and fragile adults are being cared for by caring, compassionate people and they and their relatives are very, very grateful for that care. It is time we got that message out.”
Mr Padgham, who is chair of the Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire), said an excellent standard of care was being provided despite poor funding of social care.
“The care the country offers to older and vulnerable adults has been chronically under-funded now for a generation, which is a disgrace,” he said.
“The recession has exacerbated that, with local authorities starved of money and many, many people going without care and providers going to the wall.
“What we celebrate on Friday is the fantastic care that is provided, despite the impossible financial situation. And we celebrate the hard work, commitment and care of those who are providing that care, with very poor recognition, 24/7, 365 days a year.”
He will open the doors of his care home, St Cecilia’s in Scarborough for the day on Friday when visitors and relatives are expected to call in. As part of their efforts to support National Care Home Open Day, a representative from the Care Quality Commission is also expected to call in to St Cecilia’s to join in the celebrations. The home will also enjoy a visit from Oomph! a specialist company that provides exercise for older adults and from local entertainer Sing-along-Steve.
The home has also written to local secondary schools to invite them to send groups of students along. The home is particularly keen to welcome young people to the home to help them get to know and understand older people. At the same time, residents enjoy the stimulating company of young people.