At Greensleeves Care homes, maintaining the independence of our residents is very important. We understand the day before moving into any care home people can almost manage on their own. So the day after they move in we don’t assume we need to do everything for them. Instead, we start from an assumption that there is much our residents can and want to do for themselves. We then work with our residents and their families to identify what those things are and how we keep them going. No matter how young or old we are, we strive for independence, make personal decisions and try not to rely on others. From the day we are born we push our boundaries and try and be as autonomous as possible. We learn, with support from our parents, how to fend for ourselves and then in turn we strive to ensure that our children are equally independent.
In our lives, we would all accept that any success, happiness and other achievements that we enjoy are the result of making and following through on good decisions. This ingrained sense of independence ironically becomes even stronger as we get older. Because we can no longer take the luxury of independence for granted. Whilst many older people retain almost full independence, others do need help with some aspects of their daily lives. This may be as a result of illness, accident or cognitive impairment or just because they have become more frail.
Respecting individual choices
It is at this point that the well-meaning health care professional or family-carer must be careful not to take over. They must continue to respect the individual, with their lifetime of experience and knowledge, whilst supporting and assisting them. This can be a difficult balance to strike, especially with the love and affection that goes with a life-long relationship. But it is a balance that must be achieved! There is plenty of advice and guidance on-line from people who have already done this. Please read our blog “How to Stay Independent at Home”.
Often, despite our best efforts, it does become necessary to organise residential care for a loved one. It is important at this stage that you focus on their independence and choosing the right home. All care homes don’t place the same emphasis on independence so it is essential to make a good positive choice.
Choosing the right care home
Choosing a care home is a difficult process and the way you “feel” will be one of the most important factors. But to help make the process slightly more scientific here are some questions you should always ask when visiting:
- Does the care home have restrictions on visiting hours? – This is the resident’s home and loved ones should be free to visit any time that the residents want them to.
- Does the home encourage the potential residents to visit and see what the home is like?
- Can you try the food or watch an activity if you wish?
- Is there a trial period built into the contract so you can be sure it is the right decision?
- Are the residents respected and supported to decide how and when they should be cared for?
- Does the home encourage residents to assist with the key decisions taken in the home?
Greensleeves Care really prides itself on encouraging every resident’s independence, their right to choose for themselves and their personal individuality. If you would like some more information on how we achieve this simply search for your closest Greensleeves Care home. Give them a call and ask to speak to the Manager.
Remember we are a charity, we do not worry about making a profit but we do worry about making a difference. So you can rely on us to do our best to help.