• Who We Are

    wHO wE are

    The Relatives & Residents Association exists for older people needing, or living in, residential care and the families and friends left behind at home.

  • What We Do


    We are here to support and inform residents, families and friends to find out all they need to know about residential care and to help them if things go wrong. Additionally, we speak out on behalf of a sector who cannot always speak out for themselves.

  • Helpline

    our helpline

    We offer information, comfort and support via a daily helpline. We take the time to listen and give whatever support is needed.

  • Influencing Policy & Influence

    influencing policy & practice

    We take note of your concerns and relay them to the people who can make changes. We send out potent messages and push for improvements for the benefit of vulnerable older people in care.

2 August 2016


Having been contacted by a major news outlet for comments on the Daily Telegraph’s piece (01.08.16) ‘China village names and shames people who do not take proper care of their elderly', Judy Downey, R&RA Chair, was asked:

Whether the R&RA like to comment and do we find the same phenomenon here?

Well, actually we're a helpline for relatives and friends.  The vast majority of people who get in touch with us are desperately worried about the standards of care their elderly relative is receiving at home, in care homes or in hospital.

Aren’t relatives too focused on their careers to care?

They are generally trying to do all they can to make life better for their elderly relatives, even when they live a long way away.  The ‘children’ of those in care homes or needing care can be in their 70's and more.  Their parents can be generally in their late 80s, 90s and 100's.  This often means that very many 'children' are not in good health themselves, a large number have caring responsibilities for other family members, grandchildren and parents-in-law, and some, yes, also have work they need or want to do to support themselves and others.

A high proportion has had to stop work.  It is not uncommon for them to have had to stop their caring role because of their own deteriorating conditions, often because they could no longer do the lifting, the 24 hour continence care, and cope with the complexities and, sometimes, the aggression brought on by dementia, the lack of sleep and the need for more appropriate support.

But, in the past, we cared so much better for our elderly didn't we?

Would it be that past when relatively few people lived beyond their 70's and death in your 60s and 70's was the norm?  And when women had to give up work when they got married?

Or that past when we were so caring as a society that destitute, 'senile' or frail elderly poor people ended up in the workhouse?

Unfortunately that media outlet didn't want our comments after a preliminary interchange.  We're still wondering why...

29 July 2016



A damning set of reports by CQC on the five private care homes operated by BUPA in Suffolk found four out of the five inadequate, the lowest possible category and one needing improvement.  Lack of proper backup for local managers, staff inadequacies, the isolation of residents, and basic failures such as lack of proper medication control and cleanliness were all noted as factors.

On BBC Radio Suffolk’s lead news item, R&RA Chair Judy Downey called this state of affairs unacceptable for the 270 public and privately funded residents involved, many in their 80s or 90s with dementia, and in some cases “at risk of significant harm” from the provider’s failures.

The reality for these vulnerable residents in Bupa’s homes is, sadly, nothing like the claims in its advertising.  It is imperative for Bupa to “live up to its own PR” and make immediate changes in management and regime.

It is equally important for CQC to follow up these failing homes urgently with enforcement action if there has been no improvement.

Listen to the full BBC Radio Suffolk interview here ...

Our Campaigns and Projects

  • CQC Not Working CampaignIS CQC WORKING?

    Time running out for older people at risk in care

    The Relatives & Residents Association is calling on the government to make urgent changes to the Care Quality Commission – the body responsible for regulating care homes for older people. We want to see a complete change in he way this organisation works and protects older people in care homes.


    call FOR Government to make providers accountable

    We want to see new regulations which will ensure that organisations pay sufficient attention to the safety and welfare of their residents. We also want to see registrations which will ensure that owners and managers can no longer absolve themselves when failures occur.

  • Tell Us About Your Care Home


    We are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to help relatives' voices to be heard. We are looking at how calls to our helpline can inform CQC and help them protect residents. During the project, anyone contacting us who is worried about quality of care will have their information passed immediately to CQC. In turn, CQC will update us with any action they take.


Below are examples of recent feedback 

“Thanks as always for all your time on the matter with my mother - you have both been an absolute godsend.  My mother would not be as comfortable as she is, living closer to me, without all the time you both have taken in advising, comforting when things have been so dreadful.

God bless you.

Kind regards, Tony Harris” 

“Thank you - this is the best and most relevant information I have received after many calls to many differing organisations, valiant and valuable though they have been.

Wendy Smith”