Care homes may be forced to pay compensation if they continue to charge fees for a resident who has died, in some cases for up to four weeks.
Following an extensive review by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which has published its report into the care home sector and whether it is working well for older people and their families.
It has pledged to carry out a consultation into new guidance on fees charged after death and wants all care homes to start reviewing their practices now in the light of the CMA’s findings, and where necessary make changes. ‘If we continue to find non-compliance, homes risk enforcement action’, said the report.
Fees are charged even when the room has been cleared of a resident’s belongings and in some cases when the room is already occupied by a new resident. However, if the resident is funded by the local authority, the financial contract with the care home stops immediately or up to four days after the death. The year-long market study also found the current care system is unsustainable without additional funding.
‘Substantial reform’ is needed
CMA’s chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, acknowledged that: “Care homes provide a vital service to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. However, the simple truth is that the system cannot continue to provide the essential care people need with the current levels of funding.
“Without substantial reform to the way that councils plan and commission care, and greater confidence that the costs of providing care will be covered, the UK also won’t be able to meet the growing needs of its ageing population.”
There is a funding shortfall of £1bn a year due to councils not paying enough for local authority funded residents. This shortfall leaves care homes in a desperate situation.
In addition, there needs to be an independent body to produce better long-term planning and oversight. For sufficient new care homes to be built, planning and commissioning by councils must improve to give investors greater confidence in the funding environment, said the competition watchdog.
Scotland and Wales have already taken steps in this direction but England and Northern Ireland have nothing in place.
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England hopes the study will “give the impetus to the Government to recognise the importance of fair funding and proportionate regulation”.
He added that he hopes the independent body which would also oversee fees, will “have teeth and the authority to compel Local Authorities to pay given that the Market Shaping duties have clearly failed. If the market continues without a considerable funding injection or better commissioning practice, the closure of care home providers will limit choice and competition”.
The CMA’s report also called for better protection for people in care homes with an improvement in the systems for redress and feedback.
Care homes will be required to be more transparent in terms of their fees and to display them on their websites.
Farooq Patel, director at Wellbeing Care Ltd who manage three diverse care services in Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk said: “The care sector is need of urgent reform and the CMA’s report substantiates the need for a review to ensure appropriate care is underpinned by realistic funding from the government. At The Dell Care Home in Lowestoft it is our policy not to charge any fees after the room has been cleared of resident’s belongings”. He added “it is shameful that some care providers charge grieving family fees when the room has been cleared of a resident’s belongings or when the room is already occupied by a new resident”.
The expected Green Paper next year should address the systemic problems described in the CMA report if it is to provide a substantial solution to the social care crisis. We hope the Government acts on these recommendations in the short term too and urgently addresses the widening funding gap that results in many older people being denied the care they so desperately need.”
The report by the CMA can be found here
Wellbeing Care owns The Dell Care Home in Lowestoft which high quality, dignified residential and dementia care in premium accommodation. It is recommended by families as one of the “One of the Top 3 Care Homes in Waveney area” .
Wellbeing Care also manage The Wellbeing Day Centre which offers premium day care service to over 65 years who may have daily care needs, physical disabilities or health issues. Wellbeing Day Centre have skilled carers on hand to ensure that each individual’s health and wellbeing are protected and that any specific care concerns are incorporated to tailor the day time activities for them. Further details can be found www.wellbeingcare.co.uk/day-care/
“The quality of life is determined by its activities” – Aristotle.
As appropriate this well-known saying is to each human being, irrespective of location, age or profession, it applies a tad more for respected elders who are spending a majority of their time in residential care homes. As popular across the globe, residential care homes are the apt place for elders to live a happy and carefree life. Today’s modern day residential care homes focus on an activity oriented approach. Whenever elderly people join the care homes, there is bit of shyness and awkwardness attached with them and over a period of time, if handled correctly, there could be a high level of mental and physical satisfaction that they experience. Residents in elderly care homes look forward to spending some part of their day doing such activities. It offers them a productive community lifestyle, which is why they feel more normal and connected to the world, else depression and loneliness are the two most risky feelings that the residents could face.
Social and Entertainment Activities are an integral part of the everyday lives of residents here and acts as a power boosted to their wellbeing. It has to be planned well ahead in advance so that the elders are informed about it way ahead in time and can easily be a part of it keeping no other commitment.
Top 5 Reasons why Social & Entertainment Activities are a Must for a Healthy Elderly Care Homes
- Overcoming Depression and Low Phases
One of the most common challenge that the occupants in the residential care homes for elderly face is the attack of depression, low mood, dullness, which more or less, is owing to the fixed, meticulous and rather dull life they are living. In order to overcome these negative vibes, it is essential to involve them in a variety of activities based on their capabilities both physical and mental. These activities are such that the residents start indulging themselves into it and come up with a lot of happiness, positivity, team spirit, oneness, family values and most of all, peace of mind.
- Maintaining a Healthy Mental State of Mind
Two of the most common health issues that the residents suffer from is Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Of course, not all of them, there are many who are hale and hearty, some with physical discomforts and so on. One common factor that each one of them needs to maintain is a healthy and alert state of mind. Dementia care homes, the ideal choice for dementia sufferers, see to it that their elders get the best of treatment, attention and care along with a bunch of specialized activities that are specifically meant for sharpening the brain all the time. Activities like games, crossword puzzles, intelligent quiz etc. are meant to keep their brain alive and kicking.
- Overpowering the Lonely Feeling
Each person has his / her reason of coming to the residential care home. Some have come here willingly while some have been forced to. All of them have left their original homes and families to adjust themselves into their new habitat. And hence, the very first negative feeling that would crop up is the feeling of loneliness. Hence, specific activities like get together, group games etc. are designed on a continual basis so that they all get to know each other and thereby, develop a sense of companionship and security with each other.
- Indulging in Physical Activities for a Better Health
It has been a world known fact that most of the regular diseases are either cured, curbed or controlled with physical exercises like walking, sports, swimming etc. Of course, in such elderly homes, these activities are planned very much within the boundary of their own capability. The main aim is to keep up their physical health by involving them into a regular routine of physical freshness and motivation.
- Offering a Nurturing & Routine Centric Environment
With all these activities and other schedules, what the care homes attempt to offer is a streamlined and routine environment, where there is a mix and match of activities available that they look forward to. Once that is set, the residents find it interesting and easy both, to manage their own routines. Just in case that is not followed, their life feels aimless and thereby, worthless. Hence, it is a must to have a certain of fixed processes being followed.
Key Areas to Focus on For Best Management of Activities for Care Homes
- Choose the Most Appropriate Activity Co-ordinator
After all, the management and implementation of these activities has to be taken up by someone who has a heart of gold, can easily and patiently deal with elders having any kind of trouble (physical, mental), think creatively of way and means by which the residents can feel happy and remain occupied most of their time. Finding such a co-ordinator really forms the crux of a successful and happy care home.
- Keep a Good Amount of Provision for Activities in the Annual Budgeting
Sometimes, what happens is activities are taken for granted and not looked at, while the yearly cost provisions are being done. That’s not right at all, since not doing that will increase the burden on the management and thereby affect the quality of activities resulting in not so happy residents. Instead, if it well planned in advance, there can be a smooth and seamless rollout of activities one after the other and bring a big happy smile on the elders’ faces.
- Have Third Party Co-ordinators Involved At Regular Intervals
At certain instances, owing to reasons like absence of in-house coordinator, residents getting bored with routine activities etc., there arises a need for external agencies to plug in and have activity oriented sessions with the residents. It is better to have a tie-up with some of them on a regular basis to avoid last minute hassles.
Wellbeing Care (The Dell Residential Care Home) is one of the best 3 recommended care home in Waveney. As a well-known autonomous care provider and one of the best Dementia care homes in Suffolk, UK, we @ Wellbeing provide enjoyable, simplistic and innovative group as well as individual activities for care homes, equipped with good values and principles, providing a homely and supportive environment to elders, respecting their independence and helping them achieve a complete and happy life. Permanent residential elder care service, care home for dementia, respite care, holiday stays, short term services, supported living services, day care services – you name it and we have it all.
We aim to offer the best of regular and social activities like library calls, gardening, lunch trips, boat trips, indoor games, singing, dancing and charity fun events etc., coordinated by qualified staff members. We assure our respected elders a life filled with happiness, good health, security and companionship, a morning beginning with a broad smile and a peaceful sleep dreaming of how wonderful the day was, looking forward to the next day!
Visit www.wellbeingcare.co.uk to get a feel of our enriched offerings at the one of the best residential care homes in UK. We would be glad to have you over at our premises to actually experience the happy times we are keen to provide to our respected elders.