Care Homes and Assisted Living
Increasing advances in technology, healthcare and lifestyles mean that we live in an ageing society, which brings both opportunities and of course inevitable challenges. The recent research from the Office of National Statistics reports that in 1997, around one in every six people were aged 65 years and over, increasing to one in every five people in 2017 and is projected to reach around one in every four people by 2037.
With the fastest growing part of our population now aged over 85 years, more of us will face the challenge of losing some of our independence as we grow older. Moving into residential care is undoubtedly a critical life experience, as the person relinquishes the safety of their own home and all the memories that are held there. The hope is that moving into residential accommodation will not only provide a place of safety, but also a place where the individual will receive holistic care in an environment that is nurturing and in which each person can flourish physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Caraway supports teams from the local church to provide a listening presence and companionship for residents, together with families and staff, irrespective of their beliefs. A monthly Christian Act of Worship is also offered that is accessible for those with and without faith. Developing relationships is at the heart of providing spiritual care in our Care Homes, as we help residents discover joy, hope and meaning in the midst of the reality of increasing frailty, possible regret and facing the end of life.
In the future Caraway hopes to develop a network of companions that will be able to visit those who are particularly isolated, vulnerable and receive only a few visitors, providing friendship and support.
There has been recent media coverage about the benefits of children visiting care homes and intergenerational nurseries have been shown to reduce loneliness in older people, improving both their mental and physical well-being. Our own experience of bringing the generations together has also highlighted these benefits, awakening memories, prompting smiles and laughter, along with a real sense of well-being and energy apparent across all those participating. Caraway hopes to engage with similar projects across the City, encouraging local nurseries and schools to build relationships with a local residential facility.