What difference could community visiting make to care home residents’ quality of life?
A pilot Community Visitor (CV) scheme in three Essex care homes has shown potential to support community engagement in care homes and improve residents’ quality of life. CVs visited care homes every week for a couple of hours, aiming to befriend older people and enhance communication between care home managers, staff, residents and their families.
Key findings included:
- Care home residents valued the company and conversation of CVs. They were less isolated and took part in a greater range of activities.
- CVs often made a big difference in addressing the ‘little things’ that mattered to older people.
- CVs were able to make observations about the quality of care and helped care homes in developing a more personal, relationship-based approach, but had limited influence on the culture of care homes.