Care home myths debunked

Lindsay Rees

Lindsay Rees, our ​Clinical Manager, has researched the most common myths people have about living in a care home. Having built up the list in discussion with our Home Managers and Heads of Care, Lindsay has been referring to it in talks with community groups involved in care. Below are just a few myths and why, in a high-quality, professionally run home dedicated to the wellbeing of residents, they are not true. We’ve posted Lindsay’s complete ‘top ten’ myths online: Click here.

I will lose my independence

A good care home will strive to maintain and enhance a resident’s independence at all times. Each resident has a detailed care plan that tells staff what they can do and what they need assistance with. Above that, the principles of independence, individuality and choice should be evident 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I will have to get rid of all my furniture, pictures and books

A new resident should be encouraged to make their room their own and personalise it with cherished items from home as much as possible. They are free to put pictures on the wall and to bring their own furniture and books should they wish.

I will not be able to have visitors whenever I choose

You can have visitors whenever you wish. All good care homes have open visiting. The front door may be locked for security reasons in the evening but visitors are welcome to ring the doorbell just like in your own home. Depending on the time of day, visitors can join residents to enjoy a pre-lunch sherry, afternoon tea or other snacks and meals. Birthday and anniversary parties are also popular occasions for residents and visitors to get together.

I will have to go to bed and get up when I am told to

We all have our own rhythms and routines and, while there has to be some structure to the day and night, residents should be free to choose when they want to get up and when they go to bed. Whether night owls or early birds, all are welcome.

I will have no choice of food

Food is essential to our wellbeing and quality of life. Residents should be involved in decisions about their diet and be given the time to choose options in advance from a meals menu. Snacks should be readily available throughout the day and night. There should also be off-menu flexibility for special dietary needs.

I will not be able to go out to the shops, for a walk or for a pub lunch when I wish

While safety is paramount, a good care home will always encourage independence and with the appropriate risk assessments in place anything is possible. We have residents who walk out to the shops, or take a mobility scooter. Occasionally, someone may even have their own car.  Residents often go out for lunch and dinner with their friends and relatives. For group outings, homes will provide minibus transport.

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