I have seen 3 care home adverts recently for homes which are opening and they all show pictures of happy smiling residents.
All these homes provide dementia care.
Over the past 3 years I must have visited 20+ care homes and I have yet to see residents happy and smiling.
Am I missing something somewhere?.
yes, brian .... I think you are missing something. Namely fairness. Visiting 20 plus care homes and taking a snapshot view is hardly a comprehensive survey.
I too have an insight but in my case to only a single care home, in my case a closed dementia unit. But I have visited it every single day and many nights for two years now. Not just for fleeting visits but spending hours there. Just like any social life situation nobody is grinning all the time, every minute of every day. And sometimes, there is a bit of apprehension when strangers appear.
But I can assure you there is certainly plenty of smiles, giggles and laughter too. Not just from "my"resident but from many others.
And residents in their nineties who can enjoy a bit of fun, join in music sessions and even
Get up and Dance. Including my Own Man. Even if it takes one careworker holding him up from behind by his trouser band and two more staff shuffling beside us in case he topples over (very non H and S but with my gratitude and blessing).
Furthermore, as a visitor, I see my role now as one of enabling and encouraging a bit of fun in what is a truly dire situation. let's face it, a dementia home is of essence palliative care. My motto, his motto and that of many of the residents is that we are never never ever too old to party.
have you ever tried jiving with a wheelchair resident? good fun! trust me! have you ever tried the Charlston or the sailors Hornpipe and watched the reactions? I fully recommend it. During breakfast, after lunch, whenever the moment grabs you.
have you ever heard a non verbal resident suddenly sing the chorus of a favourite song? It happens brian, believe me.
And so it should