Campaign launched in Kent to bust myths around care homes
Large keys carrying myth-busting messages are being placed in public spaces in Kent encouraging people to reconsider preconceptions. Campaign comes as new data from leading provider Greensleeves Care shows 93% care home residents are satisfied with their care.
Three care homes in Kent (Lavender Fields in Seal, Gloucester House in Sevenoaks, and Mount Ephraim House in Tunbridge Wells) have launched Keys To Open Minds – a campaign to de-bunk common myths about life in care homes.
The team and residents at Lavender Fields, Gloucester House and Mount Ephraim House are going out into the local area, 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 the homes to see first-hand.
Leading not-for-profit care group Greensleeves Care, which operates the homes, is behind the guerrilla-style community outreach campaign, which is set to share more than a thousand myth-busting messages with local communities and businesses across England.
The campaign, which launches in time to mark 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 Greensleeves 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.”
Anyone who finds a key in the local area is invited to either leave it for others to find, or take it to one of the homes on Friday 30 June and exchange for a treat. Everyone is invited to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #KeysToOpenMinds.
Greensleeves Care is a leading UK not-for-profit care home organisation which offers award-winning person-centred residential, dementia and nursing care across 28 care homes. Named in the Top 20 care home groups in the country for six consecutive years, the organisation is working to change the process of moving into a care home from a daunting decision to an empowering choice. This includes through its unique ‘Home for Life’ financial assurance and the satisfaction that care fees go in full towards delivering high-quality care and supporting a decades-long charitable mission.
About the campaign
Greensleeves Care’s Keys to Open Minds is a newly launched campaign across England that aims to prompt conversations, reduce stigma around care homes and encourage people to reconsider their preconceptions. The keys used in the campaign are FSC-certified MDF keys, made in the UK from waste wood by-products and independently certified to come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.
To join the conversation, follow the hashtag #KeysToOpenMinds on social media.