Should CCTV be used in care homes?

The issue of secret filming in care homes made front-page headlines again this week in more than  one of the major national newspapers.

The report revealed that families who have concerns about how their relatives are being treated will be advised on how to film them – by the industry watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

This is a very big, very complicated and naturally very sensitive issue.

There have been some appalling revelations over the last few years of severe and grotesque mistreatment in care homes as well as hospitals and in peoples’ own homes which have, rightly or wrongly, earned the health and care industry a pretty poor reputation in the public’s eye.

It’s understandable, therefore, that relatives harbour increasingly grave concerns about the treatment of their loved ones in care homes. They want – and should expect – peace of mind that the very least their relative is receiving is professional care from staff in a safe and secure environment.

Sadly, as we all know, this has not always been the case and on the face of it using covert filming as a deterrent to staff – or the ability to catch the few bad apples – would seem to be a solution.

However, there are some big questions to answer here.

For starters, you have to ask where the issues of privacy and dignity lie in all of this. This almost encroaches on civil liberties territory, a topic which has come to the fore in wider society over the last few years. Many care home residents are nearing the end of their lives – is being secretly filmed the way they would like to see out their days?

Put yourself in their position. Would you want to be filmed being washed and clothed and receiving the most personal care without giving your permission first (bearing in mind it’s not always possible to obtain this permission)?

Clearly many wouldn’t be aware of a camera in their room, but that still has to be an infringement on their privacy.

This leads us to the crucial question of who gives permission for the filming. The resident might not have the capacity to grant permission, and what happens where no family member has the appropriate Lasting Power of Attorney?

And who watches, or is able to monitor, the footage? Then decisions have to made regarding the circumstances it would be acceptable, not to mention how the filmed material would be stored. It’s a sad fact of life that there are some mentally unwell people out there who might want to watch the footage for inappropriate purposes.

So while CCTV most certainly has its very powerful benefits as a protective tool – both for residents and indeed staff – it’s not such a clear cut solution.

Should care providers install CCTV in bedrooms and day rooms in case relatives want to watch footage?

Who should monitor covert surveillance if the care provider is unaware of the cameras? Who ensures the privacy and dignity of the resident in these situations? Who keeps the film?

The truth is, we are torn at The Uplands.

But we would certainly very much welcome discussion and a debate over the issue.

Hopefully we will reach a solution which results in best practice whilst granting residents their ultimate right in life: privacy and tender loving care provided at all times.


Alzheimer’s Society report shows people with dementia rarely leave home

Up to 180,000 people with dementia feel trapped in their own homes, according to research published by the Alzheimer’s Society. The report, ‘Building dementia friendly communities: A priority for everyone’, shows that 1 in 3 people with dementia surveyed only leave their homes once a week and 1 in 10 get out just once a month.

The research also found that 44% of people with dementia feel like a burden and so avoid getting involved with local life. In a YouGov survey that also fed into the report, 59% of UK adults said the inclusion of people with dementia in their communities is bad.

An economic analysis commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society shows that dementia friendly communities could save £11,000 per person per year by helping people with dementia to remain independent, stay out of care for longer and have a better quality of life. A dementia friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life.

At a conference in London, Alzheimer’s Society is announcing the 10 areas communities can focus on to work towards becoming dementia friendly. It is also launching a symbol that communities can use to show they are committed to making changes to become dementia friendly.

Diamond Drop In at the Uplands Day Resource Centre

An afternoon of reminiscence – Classic Cars at the Uplands Day Resource Centre – 24 of us enjoyed a wonderful Classic Car journey, we even had a bag of oily parts, guessing what they were, how they worked and who supplied the parts?  As you can guess the gentlemen in the group knew all the names, what the parts were used for and who supplied them…. Clever clogs!

Classic cars day centr 003 Classic cars day centr 002 Classic car day centr 001

Easy Riders

A motorbike in the Day Centre, this wonderful machine brought chats and memories of how the gentlemen had Harley Davidson, BSA, Royal Enfield and Norton motorbikes.  One of our ladies shared how her husband put a side car on his motorbike so they were able to take the children out for the day. This was their only means of transport after the war for many years.  It was a privilege to journey the memories of the picnics they had due to their motorbike and side car.

Motor bike in the day centre with Ali O Motor bike in the day centre

Landscaped front garden

After our first attempt to let the front gardens be a natural wild flower area, HAUGHTON SERVICES stepped in and have very kindly offered all of their expertise and plants at no cost. They are brim full with ideas and have asked us just to let them “Do their thing”, and if we don’t like it we can change it.

How is that for an offer we can’t refuse.

Haughton Services

Resource Day Centre Day Out – Monday 10th June 2013 Blists Hill Victorian Town

The Uplands Resource Day Centre we be enjoying a day out at the Blists Hill Victorian museum. We will be chatting to all who are in costumes about days gone by, enjoying storytelling sessions, visiting the Shops and cottages in the Town and taking part in the Craft and Art Activities.

Hopefully everyone will have a lovely time and enjoy all the Town offers regard reminiscence!

Especially the Fish & Chips – YUM YUM!

This event has been arranged by the Education Department of Telford & Wrekin Council, Carers Week, Alzheimer’s Society