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By Debbie le Quesne

Archive for the ‘National Care Home Open Day’ Category

Getting a good message out there – for once it’s easy

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Bright and early Editor of the Caring Times, Geoff Hodgson, invaded my emails basket with a timely reminder: National Care Home Open Day is being held on Friday, June 19 this year.

In his blog he recalls a visit to a home in Dorset where standards would rival “any bijou upmarket hotel.”

Glowing with his praise of facilities, Geoff notes that in another decade such places “will surely be the norm and we can fairly hope that the care home sector’s tarnished image will begin to shine in the public mind.”

I’m not so sure such a transition would happen so quickly, but I must not be sidetracked from the real issue in Geoff’s piece.

The thrust of Geoff’s blog is about carehomes taking part in the National Care Home Open Day – an opportunity not only for care providers to promote facilities, but more importantly, their care.

This year’s themes are The Arts & Valuing Staff. Check out the resources page at www.nationalcarehomeopenday.org.uk/ for tips, advice information and arts oganisations you can get in touch with.

TV presenter Gloria Hunniford, an ambassador of the annual event, said last year there were many misconceptions about care homes and 25 per cent of the population had never visited one (frankly, I’d put the figure much higher).

For far too long the care home sector has been marred by the negative press generated by a small number of badly run homes, and National Care Home Open Day is determined to show people what care homes are really about.

On the web page it says: “We want the world to realise that care homes really can be inspiring places, full of unique, intelligent and charming characters, and run by special people that really do care.”

This is a golden opportunity to build bridges with community, strike up new friendships and help change the negative, public perception of residential care. I recall our media man doing a presentation at one of our West Midland Care Association conferences.

Like no time ever before in the comparatively short history of social care has the need for clever, cost-effective marketing been so acute, he told us.

Make no mistake about it, the industry is embattled, short-changed by government, misunderstood and often misrepresented in the media, he added. For many, he said, the Press is seen as a rabid dog always out to write unkind and unfair things about us. I understand. But know too, the media is the best way to vector a positive message. Taking a risk to trust the media could open unimaginable possibilities and there’s a ready-made opportunity with the open day initiative.

Don’t let it pass. Sign up and get creative and help spread the word. It’s all there just waiting for you.