Why you should celebrate the first national care home open day, 2013

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Posted on: 18 June 2013 by James Newhouse

On the 21 June, hundreds of care home across Britain will be throwing open their doors to the public to celebrate the first ever National Care Home Open Day. And I for one hope this annual event continues for many years to come.

On the 21 June, hundreds of care home across Britain will be throwing open their doors to the public to celebrate the first ever National Care Home Open Day. And I for one hope this annual event continues for many years to come.

The care sector hasn’t been portrayed in the most pleasant of lights in recent years, with the media exposing the horrors that have taken place behind closed doors. Whilst these incidents were and should be openly condemned, I think it’s time that we focus on the great work that does go on inside Britain’s care homes. And what better way to celebrate than a nationwide party!

What is the aim of National Care Home Open Day?

I remember my Grandma always used to say “Different generations never seem to cross paths anymore”.  And, sadly I think she was right. Although we may visit older relatives regularly, younger and older generations don’t interact as much as you do with your peers.

This open day, the first of its kind aims to bring people together of all ages and backgrounds. It’s about encouraging connections with care home residents and the wider community.

It’s hoped that a series of UK wide activities put on by various care homes will dispel the myths perpetuated by media stories surrounding residential care. It isn’t simply bad press; the incidents actually happened, but it’s time to take a fresh perspective on your local care home. There are so many compassionate carers who make it their mission to provide the most comfortable and enriching environment for patients in their later years.

How are different care homes celebrating the day?

Council run and independent care homes are free to put on whatever activities they like to attract local people. I think it’s fantastic that this initiative is inviting the public - quite literally - into their own home. What better way to promote your facilities, staff and the smiles on residents’ faces from within their surroundings.

Care homes across the country are putting on an array of activities including sherry and crosswords lunches; afternoon tea with residents; Hawaiian themed parties and 1940s entertainment.

But I must admit, being an artist myself, I’m quite partial to Sunrise Senior Living’s event; a National Visual Arts Competition encouraging artists to creatively engage with their local care homes by submitting works addressing the theme: “What does care mean to you?”.

Although the deadline for entries has now closed, you’re personally invited to join your local sunrise community on the 21 June for a “sizzling summer BBQ” in their beautiful landscaped gardens where the winners of the art competition will be announced.

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