Feels Like Home

Professor Martin Green OBE is an Expert Advisory Council member for P&G Professional and the Chief Executive of Care England. Here, he discusses how society can adapt to the needs of an ageing population and explains why familiarity is the key to a successful transition when individuals do need to make the move to a care setting.

The growing ageing population is a real and tangible outcome of our success in improving lifespan- something which is a major achievement and should be celebrated throughout the world. However, this growth does mean that we have to ensure our services, institutions and infrastructure are fit for purpose to meet the needs of a population group which requires some of the closest care and attention.

"If people are in environments with smells they recognise from their own homes, this can be very calming and help them to live well."

There is a responsibility incumbent on us all, whether we are private citizens, hold positions in care organisations or in government, to look at our actions and make sure that they do not discriminate against older people, and that our services are planned and operate in ways that respond appropriately to their needs.

Nowhere is the need for this planning more acute than in health and social care services. It is estimated that, in the next 15 years, there will be a need for a significant upliſt in investment for social care, not only from the Government but also from individuals themselves. In a recent submission to the Treasury, Care England estimated that the social care sector will need an extra £18 billion within the next 10 to 15 years in order to stabilise the current system.

The Prime Minister has outlined a commitment to reform social care next year (2021), and I hope that this will deliver a long-term and sustainable funding solution that will help care providers to plan and develop services that are fit for purpose in 2021 and beyond, responding to individual needs.

In recent years, a wealth of research has been undertaken by both care providers and independent bodies, looking at some

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of the definers of quality care. It is interesting to note that, in addition to the large and obvious factors, such as quality of the built environment and the choice and control people have over their lives, there are a range of what might seem like smaller things but are none-the-less important to make people feel at home in care settings.

Paramount to a quality care experience is how comfortable the setting is for residents. Creating a sense of familiarity is fundamental to creating a welcoming home-away-from-home environment. Using trusted brands people grew up with and recognise from use in their own homes, such as Fairy, Febreze and Ariel Professional, will help residents to settle in quickly, knowing the same attention and care is being put into the cleaning of their new environment.

Scent can also be a contributing factor to the home-away- from-home experience. Aroma and smell are immediately noticeable and particularly impactful for people living with dementia. If people are in environments with smells they recognise from their own homes, this can be very calming and help them to live well.

Throughout life, we become accustomed to the brands we trust for use in our own homes, especially those within the cleaning and laundry categories. Familiar brand names and logos that feature in the P&G Professional range help to instil peace of mind for people when they first arrive, helping to build an understanding that cleaning and hygiene are well maintained.

The ageing population is something which will continue to be a challenge in the future, and it is important that we see the present time as a great opportunity to plan and strategize accordingly. Planning and development services must ensure that older people are considered as a key priority. In many western societies, the idea of an ageing demographic is one that is seen as a problem, when in fact it is a real opportunity and there are so many ways in which this longevity dividend will benefit society.


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