Superb, experienced and committed practitioners talked with enthusiasm and expertise about their work in care homes.
If you get that right, a lot of good practice follows
Jane Ashcroft, CEO of Anchor, stressed the importance of looking good for each individual’s dignity and self-esteem and confided that her first destination in a care home was the laundry! If you get that right, a lot of good practice follows, including the need for people to be well-groomed, wearing their own clothes and enabled to look their best in a pleasant and welcoming and well-staffed environment.
Amanda da Costa spoke about her experience as a pharmacist working with care homes. In particular, she stressed the importance of appropriate prescribing for those receiving care: key mistakes to avoid and look out for, as well as the need to review – and often reduce – medication and the serious dangers and illegality of crushing and hiding medicines.
especially easy to get wrong when people seem to lack capacity
Dr Joe Sullivan discussed his work as a domiciliary dentist in care and some of the new challenges of those with their own teeth and the dangers of quick decay and deterioration when illness or disability strikes. He emphasised the importance of training staff to cope better when residents’ oral care is coupled with dementia. We also learned from experienced audiologists Kate Collet-Fenson and Paula Cook, about the urgent need to diagnose carefully the causes of hearing loss, especially easy to get wrong when people seem to lack capacity. With more information, staff are enabled to cope better with the needs of those with hearing problems, which affect 70% of care home residents.
We also heard from Sarah Campbell (Manchester University) about the important role hairdressers play in care homes, not just making residents look and feel good, but as repositories of knowledge and histories.
All our speakers were making important contributions to improving the quality of life for older people needing care at home or in care homes. Des Kelly OBE, our newest Trustee, brought the day to a satisfying close with his session.
We shall be continuing our work on both dental care and hearing loss this year with the kind support of the CSIS.