There is often a focus on the negative aspects of residential care for older people. In the UK, there has been increasing media attention on abuse in these and other care settings and this has impacted upon public perceptions and subsequent government policy. Consequently, care staff are “tarred with the same brush”, yet narratives of their views have rarely been investigated. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
This undergraduate, qualitative, single-case study aimed to investigate the views of staff and explore the implications for them and their practice. The views of 15 participants in a residential care home were obtained through interviews and a focus group.
Although the findings reveal sensitivities to the negative portrayal of care roles, they also reveal positive responses through a willingness to change practice, a strengthening of care values and a reduction in risks.
This study will be of interest to those multi-disciplinary residential teams who care for older people as it uncovers a striking sense of guardianship amongst residential care staff, and a willingness to reflect on, and change, practice. The study endorses the value of small practitioner-led research as an illustration of how a residential care team consisting of managers and staff can strengthen its resolve against adverse media coverage and negative public perceptions. This study suggests that this will have positive implications for the health and safety of older people living in residential settings.
Pedley, Y. and McDonald, P. (2019), "Media reports of abuse in adult residential care: implications for staff and practice", Working with Older People, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 177-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-08-2019-0019
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