Social Segregation between the young & elderly a recurring problem

Report suggests measures such as care home sharing schemes to correct the issue

Young spouses receiving irritated senior neighbor at doorway

A research in the UK has called for care homes to open its doors to the student population looking for accommodation. The suggestion comes after it was discovered that older individuals living in care homes are becoming increasingly distant from the younger generation with little to almost no interaction with anyone apart from their families. The report termed this phenomenon as ‘inter-generational apartheid’.

In an effort to combat the issue at hand, students seeking a place to stay could be provided with accommodation at care homes, where they can help out with daily chores and interact with elderly occupants in exchange for subsidized rent. While schemes that encourage the sharing of homes have become popular in other parts of Europe, they’re yet to take off in the UK. The schemes have proven successful because it provides a solution to two important problems plaguing the society today. On one hand students can save up on living expenses and afford expensive tuition fees, and on the other hand elderly residents can network with the students to counter their loneliness and help fight ageism.

The growing rift between generations in the UK recently manifested itself in the form of blatant contrast in political ideology, when nearly 75% of individuals’ aged 18-24 voted to remain in the recent EU referendum and more than half of those who belong to the age group of 65 and above voted to leave.

Here’s hoping going forward, steps are taken to end the age apartheid prevalent in the UK society where the average Briton has 56 per cent less contact with younger age groups than would be likely if there was no societal isolation. Lives that are often lived in parallel can be integrated for the greater benefit of the society.


The rising cost of care homes in the UK


Thousands of patients were also hit by sudden care home bills

Recent reports suggest that the cost of care homes soared by 40% in the year gone by. The sharp rise in costs is believed to reflect the increase in minimum wages. While the increasing costs are a cause of concern in itself, to make matters worse the quality at care homes is believed to be heading the other way.

Families of care home residents are said to be faces with a dilemma as they’re paying exorbitantly high rates for quality of service which can be described sub-standard at best. The research shows that the most expensive care homes are in Buckinghamshire and in County Durham, both at £907 a week, followed by Oxfordshire, Surrey and Warwickshire. In Durham, average care home fees doubled in just one year, from £492 last year, the figures show.

Many occupants of the care homes also complained of steep bills which were issues rather suddenly under the guise of management fees or phone bills. The unexpected bills resulted from hidden charges that the families of tenants of the care homes were unaware of prior to admission.

Enlisting the services of a care home is considered to be big financial commitment but despite that, many families failed to shop around before admitting their loved ones. This could be owing to the fact that decisions regarding care homes are often taken in haste after an accident or sudden deterioration in health of the elderly patient.

The importance of appropriate research into picking the right care home which is transparent in financial matters is being reiterated by recent news making headlines. Websites such as are great tools for families to connect with and compare different accredited care home facilities that provide care services for all kinds of circumstances.

Care Homes serve better food than NHS Hospitals finds survey

According to a recent survey carried out by YouGov on ‘Care Home Catering’, over half of people with friends and relatives in care homes say food standards are better than in NHS in care homes are better than in NHS hospitals

Fifteen per cent of care home residents didn’t think their friend or relative was given enough support when eating and sixteen per cent argued the care home’s lack of emphasize on keeping them hydrated. Research director at YouGov believes that food and care go hand in hand in NHS, whereas it is a mixed picture in the care home sector. It is acknowledged by many that the standard of food their loved ones receive in care homes is higher than those of hospitals. The quality of the meals is generally thought to be high but the area where he sector needs to improve is how the food is consumed.

Another expert asserted that ensuring care home residents are helped to eat and drink is vial and it is important to maintain a balance between helping residents to eat and keep their independence. This argument was backed by another YouGov survey where 56 per cent of those asked consider nutritious and high-quality food to be very important.

New report suggests one in three care homes in the UK are failing safety checks

iStock_000016132671XSmallOne three nursing homes have been branded as failing after an official inspection by the care watchdog. The government’s care minister has called the dire situation “completely unacceptable” as the care home crisis worsens.

The Care Quality Commission said that of 4,000 nursing homes, which care for the most vulnerable people at the end of their lives, 32% have been rated inadequate or requires improvement and 37% have been told they must improve safety.

The news means that thousands of vulnerable people are at risk of failing to receive the right medication, being left to go hungry, and being ignored when they ask for help according to the CQC.

Health minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: “While this report shows that the vast majority of people receive ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ adult social care, it is completely unacceptable that standards in some settings are below those rightly expected bycare users and their families.

“That’s why we have introduced tougher inspections of care services, provided an additional £2bn to the sector, and later this year we will be consulting on the future of social care in this country to put it on a stable footing for the future.”

Shadow Health Minister, Barbara Keeley, said: “This report confirms that the social care funding crisis caused by this Government is now seriously affecting the quality of care across the country.

“Behind these statistics are thousands of vulnerable adults failing to get the medicines they have been prescribed, being ignored when they ask for help or having home visits missed.”

Sanctuary Group acquires 35 care homes

I won't let you fallHousing and care provider Sanctuary Group has purchased 35 residential care homes and a supported living scheme from Embrace Group. The homes are largely in Scotland and the North East, broadening Sanctuary’s geographical spread as the group’s 68 existing care homes are mostly in the Midlands and South.

The purchase will bring the total number of bed spaces provided by Sanctuary Group to more than 5,300. The 1,800 staff members in these homes will become part of Sanctuary Group which employs around 11,000 people at present.

Sanctuary’s Group chief executive David Bennett said the group’s existing portfolio had been assembled through a mixture of acquisition, development and self-build. “As such, we have extensive experience of integrations of this nature,” said Mr Bennett.

“We believe that experience combined with a complete dedication to caring for older residents will ensure that these homes are seamlessly brought into Sanctuary. “Sanctuary is committed to putting kindness at the heart of our care for older people, giving them and their families beautiful environments within which they can live fulfilled and happy lives.”

Martin Gould, head of brokerage for Care at Christie & Co who handled the sale, said the off market transaction demonstrated the strength and appetite for well performing portfolios that meet a strong compliance level.

New technology promises to put an end to Doctor visits for Care Home residents

In what comes as welcome news, elderly residents of care homes will no longer need to make hospital visits to consult a doctor in the near future. A new technology called Immedicare has been launched in a pilot phase which allows care home tenants to communicate with medics via video screens rather than having to go to hospital. Immedicare has the potential to considerably reduce the number of ambulance call outs and hospital admissions for older people, permitting the elderly to be evaluated and treated where they live.

The technology was created in a partnership between Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and technology company Involve, and is already in use in 500 care homes across the UK. In the Isle of Man, the 12-month pilot project will be preceded by a three-month implementation period, to make sure systems and staff training is completed.

Immedicare also means doctors and consultants can help the care home staff with decision-making and offer medical and other specialist advice directly in the care home. The service promises to be available 24 hour a day, with a maximum response time of 5 minutes.

All of the care homes taking part on the island, both government-run and privately owned, have been provided with either a tablet or laptop device, linking them directly with the Immedicare Digital Care Hub via a secure video conferencing system.

Immedicare’s managing director, Phil Parkinson, said: ’Our experience in telemedicine in a number of UK localities means that I am confident that this pilot scheme will show tangible and lasting benefits.

’And that is good news for all of the health and social care services affected by this change as well as, and most importantly, the residents and carers themselves.’

New Luxury Care Home starts hiring process

A new luxury care home being built in Beverly is inviting job applications for various positions. The multi million pound care home named Yorkare Home is expected to generate about 100 jobs, thanks to facilities that include a private pub, shop and hair and beauty spa. It is estimated to cost £6m.

The firm had previously received a whopping 400 applications for a care home it opened in Cleethorpes. The positions available at the care home include nurses, care assistants, cooks and other assistants. The firm, which says it will respond to all applicants by the end of May, will begin interviewing in June.

Jonathan Garton, at Brantingham-based Yorkare Homes Ltd, said: “We will be recruiting 40 people from day one and over a 100 in the first year. “The last two homes have won national awards for the best new healthcare designs and Beverley Parklands, which is due to open in September, will be built to the same high spec.”

The development includes a 70-bed care facility, with a separate care unit for nursing/residential care and two smaller dementia units. Street scenes, with shop front displays and working shops, will be incorporated into the dementia care units for memory reminiscence and resident interaction.

There will be a large covered terrace on the top floor with artificial grass, which will mean each floor has easy access to outdoor space. The 1.3-acre site off Hull Road also has scope for large gardens.

Mr Garton said: “We are taking interested people’s details for a database now and will then arrange appointments for the open days early August. “We expect room reservations will start then.”

Unprecedented amount of insolvencies consuming the Care Home sector

Senior Woman Being Served Meal By CarerSome worrying figures have come to light and they show that an unprecedented amount of care homes in the UK have been declared insolvent this year. New government figures show that 75 care home businesses were declared bankrupt in 2016, up from 74 the previous year.

The figures from the previous years and the current year gone by, add up to a whopping 421 care homes businesses that have collapsed since 2010. The added pressure on care homes is being attributed to budget cuts by local authorities, who have held up contributions for care home residents. To make matters worse, overheads like staff wages have seen a steady rise.

Earlier in march, Philip Hammond, the chancellor announced an extra amount of £2bn in funding granted towards social care in England over the next three years. The funding was announced after the government had been heavily criticized for failing to support social care.

Chris Stevens, partner at FRP, warned that insolvencies in the sector were a trend that is likely to continue this year. He said: “The fall in sterling against the euro will exacerbate pre-existing pressure on staffing costs in a sector reliant on overseas workers to fill frontline staff vacancies, and where margins have come under increasing pressure from the rise in the minimum wage, pension costs and cuts in local authority funding.

“The care home sector is beleaguered due to all local authorities facing overall double-digit budget cuts for this current financial year under way and beyond.”

Care home constructs 1930s-style theatre to entertain residents

One of the major complaints often received from elderly care home residents suggest that there aren’t enough activities to keep them occupied or indulge in some fun. A care home in Dorset is all set to counter that grievance by building 1930s-style theatre in its basement to allow residents to “enjoy the things they used to”.

The care home Burwood Nursing Home in Broadstone, is a family owned business operated by Paul Jessup and his wife Sarah. Paul claims he designed and built most of the theatre himself. The 40 seat theatre reportedly cost £30,000 and took nine months to construct.

The theatre is in addition to an onsite pub that the couple has included in their care home. Jessup said: “It is not easy for older people to get out to do things they used to do. “I think music and song really inspires and stimulates people. People can sing along to a song they know from years ago, but not know much about what is happening today, especially if they have dementia.”

He added: “We do take our residents to the theatre, and they love it, but not everyone is able to go. “Now they can go for a drink in our pub before going to the fully wheelchair-accessible theatre in our home.”

Jessup said that a lot of care homes either could not afford to build such a facility, or would “not want to afford it”.

Mayor of Ipswich attends Monmouth Court Care Home Easter Bakeoff

new_mayor_-_website_sizeThe Monmouth Court Care Home which is situated in Ipswich, celebrated Easter by organizing a Bake Off for the residents of the facility. But the real surprise at the event came in the form of the Mayor of Ipswich himself; Roger Fern who visited the care home and took part in the festivities.

The event was judged by a panel of four judges, as the members of staff baked indulgent cakes and treats in order to take home the accolades.

 “We had carrot cake, chocolate fudge cake, walnut and coffee, victoria sponge – we had all sorts,” said general manager Rebecca Watkins.

“The staff baked the cakes, everyone got involved. Our residents loved it, they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

Senior care professional Kay Fidgett was crowned the queen of the cakes with her Easter-themed chocolate cake decorated with little chicks and chocolate egg shells.

Easter was not the only reason to celebrate for the Monmouth Court Care Home though, as a recent CQC inspection report lifted the ban on the care home enlisting new residents with its rating moving up from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’.

“We are absolutely thrilled” general manager Rebecca Watkins said reiterating the significance of the news.  

Let’s hope, more care homes take up the initiative to organize