Think local, buy local, eat local

Posted on October 10th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson

We all know that the self-pay part of the care home market is in ’robust good health’ but that shouldn’t mislead us into thinking that the self-pay route is an easy option for care providers to pursue.

Self paying residents and their families have certain expectations, and those expectations are likely to become more complex as time goes by.

I’m 61, no longer a spring chicken but not quite at the stage of looking at woodland cemeteries with a discerning eye. I do not eat at pubs who source their meals from big catering companies, I will not eat chicken at a restaurant unless I can be assured that it is free range and welfare friendly, I won’t buy any meat that is not certified to be welfare friendly.

In a decade or two, should I need to take up residence in a care home, and be funding my stay there out of my own pocket, I will take my food preferences with me. My care provider will no doubt be thankful that I don’t insist on my food being organic, but there are many who will.

Which brings me to another point – I think a lot of care homes need to do better with their food offering. I don’t need a food scientist to tell me that the stuff delivered in cater packs by the big national distributors is inferior to fresh, locally sourced produce – my tastebuds tell me that.

And engagement with the local community should be more than getting the school choir to come in and sing ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’ at harvest time. It should also be about engaging with the local economy and buying locally where possible. After all, the local baker’s mum may be a potential future resident.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

2 responses to “Think local, buy local, eat local”

  1. John Burton says:

    Quite right Geoff.
    Our social care system is a reflection of our society, government and economy. While purporting to improve “quality” the processes of regulation and national “improvement agencies” serve only to standardise and commodify care, resulting in the dominance of big, centrally run companies that repeat the dominance of the regulators and the improvement agencies. Parallel processes of training, consultancy, catering, maintenance, architecture, finance, staffing . . . any and every service that can latch onto the ‘DELIVERY’ of care. If there’s money to be made, there’s a new service to suck the life out of care in a real home. Thank God, some good places survive and resist this top-down oppression.
    A real care home is part of its community: it buys local; it socialises local; it is locally staffed; locals live there and if you are a resident, you become a local and you know where your meat, bread, and veg come from. Many towns and villages are very proud of their care home.

  2. Roger Wharton says:

    Think local, act local, live local, be local!

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