A day to Birmingham Care Show by FRED PALMER

I am a resident at The Close Care Home, in Burcot [near Abingdon] in Oxfordshire. I was invited by Sanjay Dhrona, MD of The Close [rated ‘Outstanding’], to visit the Care show on 11th Oct and contribute, as a panel member, to the live session on CQC inspections.   I was taken to the Show in a ‘wheelchair’ van, accompanied by a Carer, Tosin, and the Deputy Manager of The Close, Caroline Ramsey.  Were met at the NEC, Birminghan, by Sanjay and preceded immediately to our session.

There were some 70 manned trade stands at the Show, covering nearly everything which could be if interest to the Care sector.  I even noticed a Stand by a firm of architects who specialise in the design of new Care Homes. 2 Stands that particularly attracted us were the ones showing how Virtual Reality could enrich the lives of residents with dementia.  With specialised goggles it became possible to play ‘virtual’ games such as reaching out with your hands, grabbing balls and putting them in a basket, or visiting various tourist hot-spots around part of the world, taking it all in as in real life. A stand which I hoped to see but must have missed, if it was there at all, was one featuring a ‘call for assistance’ button which a resident could wear as a pendant and which, if pressed, would enable the resident to be located with precision by a Carer, anywhere on the Care Home site, including outdoors.

There were several live sessions throughout the day, including a fascinating one on sustainability. In order not to be caught on the hop, it would be wise to consider this issue without delay as aspects of it will soon become legal requirements.  There are many things which Care Homes could do now, such as recycling and avoiding food waste.

It took a full, informative day to see everything, especially as we often stopped at Stands to speak to reps or take a closer look at what was being exhibited.