Last week as part of one of our training packages, we visited a local residential home to train, educate and motivate the staff. The first thing that I noticed as we entered the home, as is often the case, was the smell. Carers have many ways of hiding smells, air fresheners, perfume or even putting Vicks on the end of their noses. It can sometimes be embarrassing for the carers and visitors, for the residents and staff. This time however, it was a different smell – of breakfast cooking, bacon and toast. What a joy! We were greeted with warm wishes and smiles, and a sign that said “Welcome to our home” The staff that we met so obviously love their jobs, they love working with each other, and they socialise and care about each other. A range of ages, a Mother and daughter, friends and confidantes, happy to share their joys and troubles. Their passion shines through and they really want to make a difference to the lives of the residents in the latter part and then the final stages of their lives. They adore their residents, who they call “their ladies” and when recently, 5 of them died within a short period of time, they were truly upset. They had not only lost their ladies but also the contact with their relatives and visitors, who would pop in regularly to see their loved ones. What resounded with us, was that each one of those residents had received the very best care, up to their very last breath, from staff members who loved and respected them. What more could you wish for it was one of your family members ? How amazing it is to see people genuinely enjoying what they have chosen to do for their career, the positive effects that their passion has on their residents and their drive to make improvements and add that whole sense of an enhanced quality of life to each individual in their care! We left heart warmed in the knowledge that the staff were all united in wanting to deliver the optimal standards of care to their residents. They were proud to be a part of a great team, they work hard, and they strive to be the best. These are our local community care homes, looking after our older generations. They need to be excellent and they need to be recognised.