Leading UK not-for-profit care group Greensleeves Care has launched Keys To Open Minds – a campaign to de-bunk common myths about life in care homes.
The guerrilla-style community outreach campaign is set to share more than a thousand myth-busting messages with local communities and businesses all over England – from London and Ipswich to Hastings and the Isle of Wight.
Teams and residents from Greensleeves Care’s homes all over the country are going out into their communities, placing keys in landmarks and public areas and sharing them with businesses. The sustainably-produced wooden keys carry tags with messages that spell out common myths around care homes, and challenge them with facts.
The keys are designed to create intrigue and to encourage people of all ages to engage with the reality of care home life, join the conversation on social media at #KeysToOpenMinds or visit their local Greensleeves Care home to see first-hand.
The campaign, which launches in time for Care Home Open Week 2023 (26th June – 2nd July), comes after reflecting on the perceived divide between public understanding and the reality of care home life. Greensleeves Care’s recent customer satisfaction survey across its 28 homes in England shows that 93% of residents who responded are happy with their care and the vast majority feel empowered to make choices about their day-to-day life.
For people like Margaret, 81, moving to a care home three years ago was nothing like she expected. She said:
“If you would have said a few years ago I was going into a care home, I would have said “get stuffed!” My opinion was that I would be told what to do, when, and how to do it.
“I now know that life in a care home is good, I am still very much in control of my life despite living in a care home. I can still make decisions myself and find the staff helpful and caring. I feel here I still have a purpose.”
Shona King, Director of Business Development at Greensleeves Care, said:
“The main aim of our Keys to Open Minds campaign is to prompt better conversations, reduce stigma around care homes and encourage people to reconsider their preconceptions.
“Misconceptions around care homes abound – from the quality of the food to how residents are supported to live with dignity. As our own data shows, the reality is that for the vast majority of residents, care homes are a positive, much-valued chapter in people’s journey through later life.
“Long-standing myths are damaging not only for the sector, but for the thousands of families looking for specialist, 24-hour care for their loved ones. They want to feel confident and empowered in the choices they make. At Greensleeves Care, we believe that feeling empowered starts with having a myth-free, more accurate idea of what it is like to join a care home community.”
The campaign is further supported through online content that tackles head-on the top 7 myths of care homes. Greensleeves Care is also committed to continuing the myth-busting beyond Care Home Open Week, including through public presentations and events.