How to maximise the impact of Care Home Open Day
Posted by: Gemma Keogh | 10.06.15

 

On Friday 19th June care homes up and down the country will be throwing open their doors and inviting their local community to participate in Care Home Open Day with them.

This national celebration is a chance for providers to show the wider public the high quality of care on offer and what it is really like to live in a care home.

There’s a lot of negative stereotypes about care homes and over the past few years the social care sector has received more than their fair share of bad press, but when people do actually visit their local home on June 19th I think they will be pleasantly surprised.

Most of the homes that I have worked with are places where the residents enjoy living, they are well cared for and, where their health permits, have full and active social lives.

At this year’s National Care Home Congress in Birmingham, Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, gave an inspiring talk about changing the public’s negative perception of care homes and how the sector can work towards challenging unfair criticism.

He said: “To change this negative perspective we must form relationships with real people and communities.

“It is time to enable and empower older people and not continually view them in terms of deficit.”

He continued to explain that when the general public visit care homes and see what the staff do, they begin to understand the complexity of providing personalised care and have a much more positive view about care homes and what they deliver.

Care Home Open Day should be an essential part of the social care sector calendar as it is the perfect opportunity to engage with local communities and really highlight the great work of care homes.

If you are taking part on June 19th then here are my top tips on how to spread the positive messages about your home far and wide:

  • Photos – inspiring pictures of your home’s activities will highlight the active lifestyles your resident’s continue to live in the home
  • Social media – sharing photos and news via Twitter and Facebook will increase the reach of your event enabling you to connect with those people who weren’t able to attend on the day
  • Invite local journalists to your home – this will give them first hand experience of what life is really like in a home and will showcase your activities and quality care
  • Invite stakeholders – schools, mother and baby groups, your local WI and churches are a great link for your home and residents benefit hugely by staying connected to community groups
  • Resident stories – and finally, share the individual stories of your residents through your website, newsletter or blog. Care Home Open Day is the perfect opportunity to recognise the wonderful residents that live in your home. Talk to residents and their families about their lives and I’m sure you’ll be overwhelmed with amazing tales

And once Care Home Open Day has passed there’s no reason to not continue to encourage local people to come back through your doors and visit your home again and again.

There are events and days throughout the year that offer the chance to highlight the care provided in your home and to celebrate your residents. These range from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, from Mother’s Day to Chinese New Year!

I hope you all have a fantastic day on Friday 19th June celebrating Care Home Open Day 2015.