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This new ‘futures’ report draws on the challenges facing residential care homes over the next 20 years. ILC-UK argues for the care home to become a ‘community hub’, integrating services and resources into the mainstream of local communities.

Well documented certainties in demographic change (particularly ageing) will shape the way that society is able to deliver services. It is no longer the case that domestic policies are solely shaped by domestic finances. More than ever the volatility of the world’s economic situation exerts pressure on how people live their lives in any country. And that varies daily. Domestically, changes are required in response –developments in savings, loans, pensions and employment shape and drive policy on a large scale.

Within this landscape is a continuing challenge of how care homes will fit in to the spectrum of future social care: more particularly, how care home services can be delivered in ways which are flexible and respond to the changing aspirations of 21st-century residents.

ILC-UK, with the support of Barchester Healthcare, has produced this ‘Futures’ report, which aims to understand and explain how care homes will need to develop to respond to a changing world. Trends have been identified that current stakeholders and partners feel will have an impact on the care home sector over the next 20 years. Issues relating to changes in the workforce, resident care, technology and the environment have been considered and potential responses to them suggested. If we are to deliver our vision of the care home of the future, policy and practice initiatives must deliver solutions to:

  • ‘chronic difficulties’ in the recruitment and retention of care home staff
  • better engaging the community with care homes
  • making the most of the potential of new technology
  • finding a sustainable funding model for care which ensures that the care home can deliver quality personalised services
  • creating an informed care consumer
  • protecting vulnerable adults without over-regulating and thus stifling innovation.
  • the sustainability of the environment through, for example, better management of the consumption of energy and water
  • tackling societal ageism.

We believe this can be done by making the care home a real ‘community hub’, by bringing it into the mainstream of community life and creating a more integrated society.

 

Author: Mark Mason

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