Volunteers in care homes

Posted on October 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

Why are volunteers common in some areas of health and social care but not in others? Most hospices run with the help of at least one hundred volunteers, and thousands of volunteers work with older people in the community, but what happens in care homes for older people? My initial impression was that volunteers are not very common, but I wanted to find out more. I suspected there could be more scope for care homes to use volunteers, and that maybe an opportunity was being missed. If this was the case, what issues were involved? I talked to a range of people from care home providers to activity organisers, and volunteers to academics. I also looked for answers from books and journals in specialist libraries. *Why use volunteers?* One of the main reasons to use volunteers is that they can augment or enhance the services care homes provide. On the activities front, a recent study found that in 80 per cent of the care homes sampled, the input from staff organising activities amounted to less than six minutes per

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