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10th November 2014

Residential Care Review: Report finds significant differences in quality of life offered by care homes

The report by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales following her Residential Care Review, A Place To Call Home?, was published today (November 10) saying that many older people have a poor quality of life in Wales's care homes and quickly become institutionalised. However Sarah Rochira also said that there were many "excellent examples of truly person-centred care" too with the picture across Wales a mixed one.

Ms Rochira's reports follows 100 unannounced visits to residential care homes across Wales earlier this year during which she and her team interviewed residents. Her team also gathered evidence from residents and their families via 2,000 questionnaires, from public bodies and care providers and experts.

The report found that many older people in care home "lose meaningful choice and control over their lives, have their emotional needs neglected and do not have their basic rights upheld".

The review looked at factors that can impact upon quality of life, such as social participation, the care home environment, access to healthcare services, diet, staff capacity and training, as well as service commissioning, regulation and inspection.

The review also found that the care delivered in many care homes "often fails to meet the needs of an individual, focusing instead on a one-size-fits-all approach".

Care home review the biggest of its kind in Wales

Ms Rochira said: "My review... has the voices of older people and their families at its heart.

“While my Review found excellent examples of truly person-centred care, enabling and empowering care that delivers the very best outcomes for older people, there are significant variations across Wales that result in too many older people living in care homes having an unacceptable quality of life.

“My Review report therefore sets out for all of the bodies subject to my Review requirements for action to deliver the change required within our care homes and ensure that quality of life sits at the heart of the delivery of residential and nursing care across Wales."

The Commissioner added: “The findings of my Review make for hard reading, but in failing to acknowledge the changes required, we undermine the good care there is and prevent ourselves from delivering the very best of care for all older people.

“It is essential that my requirements for action are delivered to ensure that quality of life sits at the heart of our care home system, at every level from commissioning to frontline care delivery.

“I understand that this will be no easy task given current financial constraints, but my Review makes very clear the impact of failing to get it right upon the people living in care homes and the price that is paid when failures occur, which, for too many, is simply too high.”

Sarah Rochira's Residential Care Review hits the headlines

BBC News: Care home lifestyle unacceptable says Older People's Watchdog

WalesOnline: Many older people in care homes in Wales 'have an unacceptable quality of life', says damning report



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