Let’s get creative and celebrate Care Home Week 2018

By Edith Macintosh, Head of Improvement Support 

We’re delighted to be joining in the celebrations for Care Home Week 2018. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness of Scotland's care homes, the people who live and work in them, their role in local communities and the opportunities care homes offer to enhance the lives and wellbeing of a wide range of people.

The Care Inspectorate works closely with care homes, not only because we are a scrutiny body but also because we are an improvement body. In fact, we have a formal responsibility for furthering improvements in the quality of care to help ensure people’s experiences of care are the best they can be. Our improvement work goes hand in hand with our scrutiny role. Our inspections are increasingly focused on improving the experiences and outcomes for people, not just compliance against procedures and older standards.

Right now in care homes across Scotland we are involved in so many innovative projects that help to give people the opportunity to live life to the full and as they would choose in order to flourish and live it well. These include our Care About Physical Activity (CAPA) improvement programme commissioned by the Scottish Government to help older people in care to move more often, collaborative work to reduce pressure ulcers in care homes and our improvement resources Spotlight on Dementia and Spotlight on Bowel and Bladder, to name but a few.

Arts in Care is another really important resource that helps to enhance the quality of life and health of people as they get older by promoting the arts and creative engagement in care homes.

 We are all creative, whether we think it or not – everything we do in life has some element of creativity about it. We all have different creative abilities but, as work on this resource revealed, no matter what age or stage in life we are at, being creative can bring meaning, purpose and fulfilment to people and help them to live well.

Arts in Care was launched by the Care Inspectorate, in partnership with Luminate and Creative Scotland, back in 2016. Since then, it has been wonderful to see the growth of these expressive arts activities in care homes. We are increasingly seeing the evidence of how participating in the arts and creativity can have a transformative effect on a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing.

The pack helps care staff to provide opportunities for people experiencing care to enjoy a good quality arts experience in the care setting or with the local community.  It also encourages care services to link with professional artists. Examples include using technology such as iPads to make music, storytelling and poetry workshops, singing and dance projects and visual art activities.

Greta, a lady living in a care home who was involved in developing the pack, spoke about how she had used her hands to be creative all her life and still loved it, she was also one of the people who helped to write a lovely poem called Bird Watching, which she recited at the official launch.  Some people spoke about how the creative arts helped them to manage some of the symptoms of their ill health and others said it meant they connected more with people and places because of it.

Clearly creativity is a powerful tool to help us to pursue wellness and remain resilient in life and in many cases restore joy that perhaps has been lost or is not often seen.

  • If you would like to find more information and resources from the Care Inspectorate on improving care for people visit The Hub website.

    For more information about the CAPA programme and to find the latest news, case studies and resources visit the CAPA website.

The Care Inspectorate’s Improvement Strategy 2017-2019 is published on our website.