The paper was written to highlight the common experience of older people in care homes who are often left to deal with loss and grief without the explicit emotional validation and support needed.
Beginning with a real world example of an older person who felt suicidal at the prospect of moving into a care home the paper analyses the common culture in care homes and goes onto describe a new paradigm of care giving (“the compassionate community”).
The paper highlights the need for a shift of culture and leadership thinking in the care homes.
Practical implications –
Older people need more opportunities to share their losses and grief and staff teams must develop their role so that it moves beyond physical caring to embrace the emotional and spiritual aspects of the lives of the people they care for.
This paper issues a radical call for an shift in thinking and values and suggests a route map which will enable full expression of the emotional lives of the people being cared for.
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