There are hundreds of training courses on how care providers should provide social care. Regulatory bodies want proof that such courses have been attended or completed online and any variations are often viewed as non-compliance.
I have just spent a week on holiday with an 86 year old with mobility and memory issues. The physical problems solved with medication, physical aids and patience but the overwhelming wish of this 86 year old has been:
• To have conversations: over breakfast, lunch and supper to discuss a TV program or the contents of her daily paper.
• To have trips to shops she used to visit and to smaller ones offering ‘something different’ as she began her Christmas shopping.
• To visit restaurants, cafes and farm shops to people watch and to have a friendly chat with a stranger.
• To talk about her future, her fears and anxieties and to have a laugh.
Care providers offering social care whether it is an hour a day or twenty four hours a day, whether a person is physically or mentally impaired, should remember that conversation, discussions, laughter and if possible the opportunity to maintain a presence with the outside world are so very important for every person to experience as full a life as is possible.
Regulators should give more emphasis to this aspect of social care and care providers should highlight the importance of conversation to their staff to stress it is an integral part of their job description.
It is the providers who take this into their care DNA who will have happier care workers and importantly clients who are content with your care service and will stay with you and also tell others.