What makes a place feel like home? Everyone has their own answer to this question. It could be a place where you feel safe and happy, where you feel supported, where you’re surrounded by your family, or your favourite possessions. It could be where you know you can get a good night’s sleep, as well as any of the above.
At Richardson Care, we provide person-centred care for adults with acquired brain injury and separately for adults with learning disabilities. This means that as well as providing individual care plans, we make every effort to ensure that each service user feels at home. This helps them to better engage with their therapies and have a better quality of life. We achieve this in a number of ways.
Each individual has access to a multi-disciplinary support team who devise a care plan to meet their needs. This may include occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech & language therapy. The Activity Support Workers in the home, especially the individual’s key worker, will support them to develop their communication and living skills on a daily basis. In addition, the team of psychologists at Richardson Care have an ‘open door’ policy so they are available for psychological and mental well-being support whenever it’s required.
At Richardson Care we have six specialist care homes. Three are for adults with learning disabilities and three are for adults with acquired brain injury. They all cater for people with different and complex needs. This means that each home has a variety of characters, so we need to be confident that introducing someone new into the home will not adversely affect the existing residents. Each home becomes a community of service users and staff.
We also have a deliberate policy of no uniforms for staff at Richardson Care, so that the homes feel more like a home, not an institutional or hospital setting.
The home environment
Each Richardson Care home has a unique character, but they are all designed with the same goals in mind. Key to this is creating the essence of home. Our care homes are safe, practical spaces with aesthetics that are uplifting and stimulating but that also create a feeling of calm. The homes are houses with history and character combined with bright modern styling. They have a range of communal spaces so that service users can choose where to be and who to socialise with inside the home, so they don’t have to stay in their rooms.
Outside spaces are important too with a range of garden styles. They may include a trampoline, picnic tables, barbecue area, games area, lawn, flower and vegetable beds.
Where possible, bedrooms are decorated according to the taste of the person being admitted. For example, using accessories and linen in their favourite colours. Service users can also bring some of their own furniture if they wish, and their own pictures. All bedrooms have ensuite shower rooms or wet-rooms.
Bedroom furniture needs to be practical, robust and easy to clean, but it also needs to be comfortable and homely. Director Laura Richardson-Cheater oversees the styling and purchasing of all the furniture within the homes to ensure that it reaches the required standards.
Of course, the choice of bed is particularly important as sleep is crucial to the well-being of our service users. As well as the bed being comfortable, strong and robust, ideally we want it to look like one that you’d find in a hotel, not a hospital. Creating a homely environment in the bedroom is just as important as elsewhere in the care homes.
Our care home beds are supplied by another independent family business as we appreciate the value for money and quality of service that they deliver. They offer a wide range of care home beds that are strong and durable, with a choice of bases, mattresses and headboards that fit with the homely style of our bedrooms.
The ethos of Richardson Care
The key to creating the right environment and providing a place that feels like home for our service users is as much about the ethos of the organisation as it is about the physical surroundings. Richardson Care was founded on the principles of community presence, community participation, social inclusion, dignity and respect. We remain true to these principles today.