Every older person has the right to live safely, in a warm, clean environment and be treated with kindness and respect for their individuality.
Unfortunately despite some good care practice carried out by dedicated staff, the media has frequently highlighted the poor care and shocking treatment given to some of the most vulnerable people living in our communities.
Someone you know may need or be receiving care and support. They may be either living in their own home, a care home or somewhere else and you need to know what good person- centred care looks like, to root it out if you are looking for it or ensure they are receiving it already.
It is important that everyone feels able to say if they are concerned about someone else’s safety or the care they are receiving (or lack of it) who perhaps is unable to speak up. Some things to look out for that demonstrate good care are:
- People are treated with privacy, kindness, dignity and respect and seen as individuals before their disability, illness or needs. (“We cannot care for people unless we care about them and we cannot care about them, if we don’t know who they are”)
- Care records are kept and include what is important to the person, what is important for the person and how they like to be supported
- Needs and expectations are reviewed regularly with the individual and/or the people who know them well
- Eating and drinking well and maintaining a healthy weight. (People’s likes and dislikes for food and drink are investigated. Drinks put within reach and people with a memory impairment reminded to drink)
- The right medication is given at the right time and taking it observed
- Well trained staff are available and training includes dementia care (80 per cent of people living in care homes have a form of dementia or severe memory problems)
- The right sort of equipment is available
- Meaningful and age appropriate social activities are available and informed by choice.
- Relatives are made to feel welcome and included
- Financial security is investigated
- Care home is integrated with the local community (e.g. joint gardening or history
- Leadership is strong and supportive. (Senior staff set a good example)
If you have a concern about someone else’s care and the danger is immediate dial 999. If the danger is not immediate, contact their Local Authority and ask to speak to the Adult Safeguarding Team.
If you are concerned about the quality of care provided by a care or nursing home or domiciliary provider, contact the Care Quality Commission on 0300 061 6161 or www.cqc.org.uk