Preparing for the care home of tomorrow

Ralph Skornia, customer segment manager at Miele Professional, shares his insight on the state of the care industry in the UK

The demand for care has significantly increased over the past few decades, driven by an ageing population, advances in medical technology that have extended people’s lifespan, as well as a change in societal attitudes towards the nature of ageing and care. This is a phenomenon that is happening across Europe, with research showing that the population of older people will rise to 130 million by 2050 compared to the 90.5 million recorded at the start of 2019. Despite this growing demand for care, the industry faces a number of challenges, including a shortage of trained staff, increasing regulation burdens, and soaring costs. While care homes struggled with these issues long before the pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 has undoubtedly heightened these problems, putting more pressure on those working on the frontline.

This has left the industry in a fragile condition, with less resilience to tackle future disruption. The current energy crisis, for example, will likely cause price hikes to gas and electric bills for care operators, forcing home closures unless the government intervenes. To help strengthen the industry in the long term and prepare for the care home of tomorrow, it is crucial to address the issues of today. After all, this is a topic that is important to every individual, as each one of us is getting older and many of us already have elderly relatives. 

In 2022, Miele Professional conducted research into the state of the UK care industry to explore how senior care professionals managed during the pandemic and how this will impact their operations in the future. Results were not only collated from a survey which was distributed to care homes across the UK but also through a forum where care home managers and owners discussed their individual circumstances. The findings show several areas of concern that share similar themes with our European neighbours

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