We must stop medicalising residential care

It seems as though becoming frail and old is now no longer a natural process. 

We used to be able to have the comfort knowing that if we ever needed this care, we would be could go into a home like environment where we could live out our life in peace and tranquility.

This is no longer the case. 

We have to have a medical condition and be medicalised rather than the fact we just need help with our daily living. 

There is a huge push to keep people in their own homes where they are cared for in their own surroundings – their home.  For some people this is not an option.  They have to go into care for a variety of reasons i.e. increased falls, increased memory loss, inability to safely take care of themselves, absence of family members to fulfill the roll or some other very valid reason.  Not all of these have a medical condition attached to them.  It is as simple as that.  The only thing that has changed is their living environment.

Why do we do this to our elderly or disabled people?  Surely residential care is precisely that – a place to live where we get help with our daily needs. 

We were not meant to live alone, we are after all social animals, and surely we have the right to a home not a “medicalised model of health”.

Think about it.  If you get to a point where you are no longer able to take care of yourself, do you really want to live in a hospital?  That is what we are in danger of creating if we don’t stand up and say what we want. 

People in residential care rarely become sick in fact they are more likely to require less medical intervention once the stress and loneliness of isolation is removed. They are just not able to care for themselves. 

A plea to auditors – please don’t make these facilities into hospitals.  Think of them as a home where people live 24/7 and look at what is working well for the residents in a home not what you would expect to find in a hospital.


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