While care of older people in residential care homes languishes in a perilous position – under-funded, staffed largely by unqualified staff and inspected by tick box regulators – the Care Minister, Mr Norman Lamb, has come up with a bold new plan to transform the situation.
Personalise your room with your own furniture!
According to Mr Lamb, this will make residential care a “civilised home from home, and create a real sense of the individual’s home”.
This is such a good idea that it has been taken up by the Daily Mail’s hard hitting “Dignity for the Elderly” campaign. Furthermore the raging champion of older people – AGE UK, is also firmly behind the programme. The iron fist of the Care Quality Commission will be reinforcing Mr Lamb’s limp wrist with a “robust” regime of inspection.
Mr Lamb forgot to mention that you will have to fit all your furniture into a bedroom which is only just big enough for a single bed. So no room for the three piece suite! Oh, and your favourite curtains will need to be treated with fire retardant.
You could of course bring your favourite chair into the communal lounge, although it may look like an auctioneer’s sale room, if all 30 of the other residents, who also live in “your lounge”, want to do the same thing.
Really Mr Lamb, this hardly constitutes a new policy when the residential care sector is so bankrupt of both money and reforming ideas. Your regulator – the Care Quality Commission, is currently suggesting that 750 care homes are failing on at least one basic standard for more than a year – surely furniture can’t be your top priority. Deck chairs being rearranged on the Titanic comes to mind.
The Daily Mail obviously did not want to upset you by telling you this in an undignified way. Even more concerningly, AGE UK have become so diplomatic these days that they seek to accommodate everyone and their furniture. Nobody at AGE UK gets angry anymore, no matter how much older people are patronised by Government Ministers who are supposed to care for them.