October 2015

Liz Burtney, Danni Teahan, Davina Figgett, Paul Buchanan and Karen Stevens, Skills for Care

UK care homes are not performing regular eye examinations, despite one in two residents experiencing some degree of sight loss, according to a discussion paper on facilitating change in the aged care sector by Skills for Care and Thomas Pocklington Trust. When neither staff nor residents realise the importance of regular eye examinations or know what can be done to make the most of residents’ sight, it becomes clear why there is a need for change in care home practices.

Key Facts:

  • Approximately 200,000 people living in care homes have a sight problem that affects their daily lives.
  • There is no mandatory requirement for staff in care homes to demonstrate knowledge or skills related to sight loss.
  • Care homes are sometimes perceived as task based and inflexible, creating a negative and unhappy environment for residents.
  • Older people have identified freedom of movement, individual routines, a positive environment and a sense of belonging to a community as important features of care.
  • There are seven characteristics for change which care homes could adopt to achieve good outcomes for residents.

How can this research help?

‘Models of change for care homes’ looked at various ways of facilitating change in the aged care sector, and found that care homes can support sight-impaired residents by focusing on individual decision-making, a positive and communal environment, and meaningful activities.

Links: 

Research Discussion Paper: Models of Change for Care Homes – PDF version and Word version