Care homes have been offering daycare for as long as I can remember. It is essential for many families needing time out from continuous care commitments. It also acts as a bridge, smoothing the transition between life at home and life within a care environment. But could we do it better?
At Court House, we looked at it again. We saw the term ‘daycare’ as potentially demeaning, almost ‘play-school’ for the elderly. The thought of suggesting to my formidable, but forgetful, mum that she needed to go to a care home for the day sounded like a hard sell. So we wondered if there was a better way to do this.
The idea was simple. What is the most normal activity outside the home that we all do with friends? The answer… meet up for a coffee.
So we built ‘Parrots’, our coffee shop. The aim is to offer care slots of about two hours, including morning coffee (and cake), lunch club and afternoon tea or any mix of the above.
Saying to mum that I am off to do the weekly shopping or a trip to the dentist, whilst she goes for a coffee with friends makes the care home visit sound more positive. The bite-sized visits should be less stressful, with the staff member supporting the club in helping to facilitate new friendships. Any transition that might be needed happens in a natural way.
As for our residents, the wonderful benefit is not only being able to head off for a coffee with their new coffee club friends, but also taking family and friends who visit for a treat like the old days.