News Release: Care Home Day 20 – 15 July

Care Home Day – 15 July 2020

A day to recognise the role of care homes

Today (15 July) will see an online campaign to raise the profile of care homes across Scotland.

Care Home Day, now in its second year, will highlight how care homes and their local communities have come together to support residents and staff, especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone but it has especially impacted our care homes. The virus has presented a particular threat to the lives of residents and staff in care homes for adults and older people, leading to grief and tragedy across the country.  The impact of lockdown measures on people’s wellbeing has also been profound, with visits to care homes restricted and stopped in order to keep people safe.

Yet throughout this crisis, the dedication & professionalism of staff in supporting residents, families and each other throughout this period has been exceptional.  All parts of the care home system have rallied around to tackle where there have been outbreaks and protect where there have been none.  The care home response to COVID-19 has involved new innovative activity, unprecedented collaboration and people going above and beyond the call of duty. Staff have been flexible in their approach and made use of technology and social media to keep residents in touch with their families. There has been a sense of community within and around care homes through this challenging time.

Before, during and beyond COVID-19, Scotland needs care homes to provide a safe and homely setting for many of the country’s most vulnerable people.

Care Home Day is therefore an important opportunity to recognise the essential role of care homes in our communities and the extraordinary work they do in supporting our older and vulnerable citizens. It will provide an opportunity to tell the stories of care home life: from residents, staff and community organisations who have gone above and beyond in supporting care homes.

The day is organised by Scottish Care, supported by the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Government. Together, they are calling for individuals, care providers and partner organisations to join them on social media to share good news stories from their local care homes using the hashtag #carehomeday20.

Dr Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care said:

“Care homes are places where we see humanity at its best. 

In the last few weeks and months that has been clear for all to see in the skill, professionalism and dedication of care homes staff. Even in times of acute sadness in facing COVID, staff have been working with energy and dignity.

But care homes are also places where people are able to live the fullest possible lives despite medical conditions or factors which might limit them. They are places of entertainment and enjoyment, of friendship and togetherness. It is this human space which has been most lost in the last few weeks, but which is now gradually beginning to come back to our care homes. 

I hope today will give care homes – in a virtual way – the chance to continue that journey back to normal. I hope today will also be the chance for the wider community to say a well-deserved thank you to the care homes which are at the heart of their communities. I hope today will be a day which is used by all of us to do something- however small – to appreciate the folks who show us that to be human is to care and which is daily shown in such brilliance in Scotland’s care homes.”

Peter Macleod, CEO of the Care Inspectorate said:

“Care homes are a vital part of our communities, and we have seen communities pull together in incredible ways at this time of crisis. 

I want to pay tribute to the unwavering dedication of those in the care community who have worked so hard to support residents, staff and loved ones through these toughest of times. 

We’ve seen great compassion, as our care homes have worked tirelessly to keep people safe and well, and connected too, with loved ones and the community outside.

We must of course, be always vigilant. We will take the lessons from this crisis and emerge stronger, to ensure that every resident’s care and wellbeing needs are able to be met.”

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman said:

“Never has there been a time when we have had so much to be grateful for from our care sector and Care Home Day is the perfect opportunity to show our gratitude for care workers who have worked courageously and with compassion to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of those who live in care homes.  

“Care homes are a vital part of Scotland’s communities and although the COVID-19 outbreak has included tragic loss of life in care homes, and brought many challenges, that sense of community continues to be at the heart of the care sector. I’d like to thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to keep this sense of community through this difficult time when families and friends have been unable to visit loved ones in care homes.”