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Pensioners ‘scared’ of care homes

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
12.10 PM

More than 70 per cent of residents would be ‘scared’ to go into a care home.

A report launched by Alzheimer’s Society, Low Expectations, has found that 72 per cent of people in the region would be very or fairly scared about going into a care home.

It reveals three quarters of relatives would recommend their loved one’s care home despite less than half saying their relative has a good quality of life. In the South West, there are 2,487 care homes with 69,239 places in total - this second highest number of care homes amongst the regions and nations of the UK.

With at least 80 per cent of care home residents having dementia or severe memory problems, the charity is calling on the government and the best care homes to do more to ensure minimum standards and more effective regulation.

Debbie Donnison, area manager for Alzheimer’s Society in the South West said: “We know that there is lots of excellent quality care in residential care homes, but our research has found that people have very low expectations of what a care home will offer and many are scared of ever living in one. Too often we hear that people with dementia in care homes don’t have the opportunity for regular and meaningful social interaction and activities of their choice which help them continue to live well with dementia.

“Care homes shouldn’t be seen as an isolated place of last resort but as part of the wider community. They should be championing the fact that with the right support, it is possible to live well with dementia.”