Confidence in the safety of care homes has almost doubled since last year, with more than a third of people agreeing their impression of them is now more positive.
A survey carried out by provider Vida Healthcare found public awareness and knowledge of care homes and how they operate has increased. More than two thirds (67%) of the 2,008 people surveyed claimed to know more about the industry than before.
Since its previous survey in 2020 of 2,001 people, it found confidence in the safety of care homes had almost doubled (24% to 45%). Overall, 34% agree their impression of care homes is now more positive than before the pandemic.
However, less than a third of people (32%) believe care homes offer a sense of community for residents.
James Rycroft, Vida Healthcare managing director, believes the pandemic has provided an opportunity for the sector to speak out and educate the public. He said: ‘According to the results of our research, almost half (47%) of UK adults consider a care home as a home for older people to spend the rest of their lives rather than just a place for care delivery.
‘Despite this, we clearly have a fantastic opportunity to educate the public and prove that care homes are a home for many vulnerable people which offer social activities, specialist care, and unique facilities.’
The provider has built its third home, Vida Court, which will include a 12-seater cinema, florist, coffee shop, and gardens.
Of those surveyed, 40% agreed creative arts, entertainment, and outings to shops and hairdressers, could be as effective for long-term care of older adults, particularly those with dementia-related illnesses, as traditional methods such as medication.
Rycroft added: ‘We know that loneliness, a lack of specialist care, and poor facilities are all concerns of the public when it comes to care homes. We hope that by tackling this conversation head on and showcasing the new care homes being built, including Vida Court, we can prove that care homes are more than just a place for care delivery, but a home for people to spend the remainder of their lives.’