Action not words: Race Equality Week 2022

Adele van Wyk, social worker and PhD student at University of Edinburgh, reports from Race Equality Week, which is run by London ADASS and supported by the ARC South London Social Care Theme (based at the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce). (985 words)

The London Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (London ADASS) presented a series of online luncheons as part of its Race Equality Week (7-13 February 2022). In this blog, I reflect on the Thursday lunchtime conversation (10 February), attended by 122 practitioners and managers from a wide range of social care services, which focused on cultural competence in adult social care. In the first section, I share some of my thoughts about the key points made about cultural competence, and in the second, some thoughts about spirituality in care homes.

# Culture is a strength and an asset. Fact: It might be, but it might not.

# All members of a culture subscribe to the same values. Fact: Not everybody is interested in having kosher food or going to the prayer room. Some people stay away from religious celebrations but enjoy the cultural associations with religion.

# People from Asian and black African backgrounds have big extended families supporting themFact: This might be true for some, but for many it is not. Continue reading

The Gallery of Spiritualities – welcome to a new exhibition in a care home

olivia luijnenburgOlivia Luijnenburg is a Research Associate in King’s College London’s NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce. (460 words)

What is ‘spirituality’ in care? How can care home staff attend to residents’ spiritual needs? For my PhD project, I had the task of finding answers to such questions. When thinking about spirituality and spiritual needs, many people’s minds immediately go to religion and religious needs. However, what about care home residents who do not practice a religion or are not part of a religious community? We know that spiritual wellbeing is found through a sense of community, connection, nature, or the arts, which can but does not have to be of a religious nature. Surprisingly, the spiritual needs of older people in residential care have often been overlooked.

To address the lack of knowledge around spirituality in care and illuminate the intangibility of what spiritual needs might look like, I collected ‘artefacts’ from care home residents before talking with them. These could be an object, a space, a song, a person, or anything else that represented a sense of joy, peace, safety, or fond memories for the person. The ‘artefacts’ functioned as a conversation starter, as well as a stimulant to the imagination of what ‘spirituality’ might mean to the participant. They were photographed and collected in a ‘Gallery of Spiritualities’. Continue reading