Ten years ago, the average life expectancy of a homeless person was 53 years. Now, thanks to medical advances, it is now much older. However, this has raised challenges for social care operators providing care, said Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, at the Dementia Care and Nursing Home exhibition on Wednesday.
In a presentation on equality, diversity and human rights in social care, she urged care home managers to think about communities that are currently underserved by social care, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people (LGBT), (British English) Black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME), people with drug and alcohol problems, and ex-offenders.
She said that regulation by the Care Quality Commission would look at how care homes supported residents’ faith and cultural needs. The need to support residents’ human rights was already embedded in CQC guidance, Equally Outstanding.
Useful resources include the LGBT consortium, NHS England’s Health and Wellbeing Alliance and best practice by care homes specialising in the care of minority groups. She said: “The forthcoming green paper on the care of older people is an opportunity to do something different. [Social care] leadership needs to reflect the changing model and provide the workforce with the support it needs.”