Restoring Relationships – the recovery of connection, family and love in care homes in Scotland

Section: The ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 29th March 2021
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Tide are leading a project around restoring relationships and reconnecting families in care homes and want to hear from you.

As the global pandemic took hold and the various lockdown restrictions and measures came into place, they undoubtedly took their toll on all of us. However there was a particular group of people who felt the full weight of the restrictions in the rawest sense – people living in care homes, their families and relatives.

You have experienced a physical and emotional separation from each other, a disconnection of relationships, love and support for a sustained amount of time – in most cases almost one year. As families and relatives you have experienced a sudden void in your lives where the person used to be and all that went with loving and caring for them.

Tide has been commissioned by the Scottish Government to co-produce a transitions toolkit which recognises and validates the lived experience of families and relatives and which supports you to illustrate the love, connection and support you usually have with the person living in a care home. The toolkit aims to enable families and relatives to plan their involvement as restrictions lift, what you want to contribute to as an equal partner in the care of the person e.g. time you want to spend there, what is important for you and what activities or tasks you want to do with or for the person living in a care home.

The toolkit will compliment care plans and activity planning within care homes and act as a bridge between staff and families. It will be flexible and adaptable as the needs of the person change and evolve. It will not act as a tool to blame and shame staff in care homes about what they are not doing – it will enhance the care already received and support care home staff and relatives to have important conversations where they can be open and honest with each other, even in times where it may be uncomfortable. The key to the toolkit is that it will provide person centred care in the truest sense of the word as it is underpinned by love and connection between families.

The toolkit will be designed in the short term and introduced with the purpose of supporting the transition out of lockdown and the reintroduction of families within care homes again. In the longer term it will be adapted to be used in the future when a person is moving into a care home and families and relatives need support with this significant transition.

The toolkit will help give families and relatives something to focus on as they plan for their return or an increase in the time they can spend in the care home. It will help families and relatives to restore their relationships with loved ones in care homes whom they haven’t seen for many months. It will also aim to help reconnect any relationships that may have become fractured between families, relatives and care home staff and support the ongoing growth of relationships moving forward.

Tide want to involve as many families and relatives in the creation, development and implementation of the toolkit as possible. One of those ways is to complete this questionnaire giving your thoughts and feedback – the questionnaire and feedback will be treated completely anonymously and will help to shape the content and style of the toolkit.

For more information , please visit Tide (this link will take you away from our website).

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