My Home Life is a UK-wide initiative to promote quality of life for those living, dying, visiting and working in care homes for older people through relationship-centred and evidence based practice. The national programme is led by City University (Research Group on Quality of Care for Older People) in collaboration with Age UK. It has the support of the Relatives and Residents Association and all national provider organisations that represent care homes across the UK. In Scotland the programme is led by University of West of Scotland (UWS) in partnership with Scottish Care and Age Scotland.
The My Home Life Approach
My Home Life is a social movement that seeks to ‘make a difference’. It is a collaborative scheme bringing together organisations that reflect the interests of care home providers, commissioners, regulators, care home residents and relatives and those interested in education, research and practice development. It uses an appreciative inquiry (AI) approach that focuses on what works well and identifies strategies for doing more of what works well. It is an exciting philosophy for development in that its starting point is that in every organisation something works well. Thus, rather than focusing on what is not working well, the approach sets out to establish strengths which re-energises and re-engages people to challenge the status quo and take forward plans for improvement. Our approach has 4 key components:
My Home Life in Scotland
Reshaping Care for Older People: A Programme for Change 2011-2021 sets out the national framework built on consensus across all sectors and interests, to address the challenges of supporting and caring for Scotland’s growing older population into the next decade and beyond. It sits above, and supports the delivery of, other strategies including Self Directed Support, Health & Social Care Integration and Joint Strategic Commissioning. Together along with other strategies these build a cohesive and comprehensive approach to meeting the care and support needs of older people. Key messages are that: Older people are an asset not a burden; We need a shift in philosophy, attitudes and approaches; We are adding healthy years to life; Supporting and caring for older people is not just a health or social work responsibility; Services should be outcome focussed; We need to accelerate the pace of sharing good practice. The four partners within Health and Social Care Partnerships (Local Councils, NHS Boards, the third and independent sectors) were asked to agree and submit Change Plans to pilot ‘tests of change’, implement sustainable services and deliver better outcomes. The North Lanarkshire partnership were the first to commission the My Home Life leadership support and Community Development Programme as part of the Capability and Capacity Building work it was doing in conjunction with the Independent sector which includes Care Homes providers. Since 2012 a further 25 partnerships have commissioned the programme, there are now 12 programmes running with over 250 care home managers participating.