In recent months we have run a series of Whose Shoes? focus groups for older people in a range of settings – for example, those living in the community with and without formal “services” and those living in Extra Care housing.
We have gathered information about how older people can be supported to maintain or regain independence and enjoy the best possible quality of life. We have used creative methods which supplement the Whose Shoes? approach, including the excellent graphic facilitation services of New Possibilities inBirmingham.
Through the relaxed environment of the Whose Shoes? sessions, people have told us what is important to them and, together with their carers, have highlighted where things so often go wrong.
One of the areas we have explored in more detail has been around nutrition and hydration. Many problems have been raised, particularly those that have NOTHING to do with cuts or staff shortages but are simply poor and unthinking practice – eg putting drinks out of reach of hospital patients.
It was therefore with great interest that I saw that a new “code of conduct and minimum standards of training for health care assistants and care workers who look after the elderly inEngland” has been announced by the government.
According to the BBC report, “The government said the new standards are likely to focus on communication, confidentiality, nutrition and hydration amongst other things. The announcement follows growing concerns about the training and quality of care provided by some care workers. They are often poorly paid whilst doing a difficult and demanding job.”
Next week we are working together again exploring issues of personalisation in the housing sector…. I’ll keep you posted.