My Home Life 

Northern Ireland

My Home Life NI - Leadership Support & Practice Development Programme 2017 - for more information or to register an expression of interest - follow this link

Hear from managers who have completed the MHL NI Leadership programme - watch a series of short videos

Royal College of Nursing

Northern Ireland

Nurse of the Year Awards 

8th June 2017

Sarah Penney 

Award Winner 

My Home Life is a UK-wide initiative to promote quality of life for those living, dying, visiting and working in care homes for older people through relationship-centred and evidence based practice. The national MHL programme is led by City University (Research Group on Quality of Care for Older People) in collaboration with Age UK. It has the support of the Relatives and Residents Association and all national provider organisations that represent care homes across the UK. In Northern Ireland the programme is led by Ulster University in partnership with Age NI and the Independent Health Care Providers (IHCP). In Northern Ireland we provide the leadership programme with an additional practice development strand.

MHL has worked with over 60 academic researchers from universities across the UK to develop the evidence base for quality of life in care homes (NCHR&D Forum, 2007).  The review of evidence explored ‘what residents want from care homes’ and ‘what practices work in care homes’. 


Eight best practice themes were identified which were then translated into a conceptual framework for use by the care home sector to inform and support practice.  Sorted into three broad categories, the eight themes are


8 Best Practice

Maintaining Identity: Working creatively with residents to maintain their sense of personal identity and engage in meaningful activity.


Sharing Decision-making: Facilitating informed risk-taking and the involvement of residents, relatives and staff in shared decision-making in all aspects of home life.

Creating Community: Optimising relationships between and across staff, residents, family, friends and the wider local community.  Encouraging a sense of security, continuity, belonging, purpose, achievement and significance for all.

Managing Transitions: Supporting people both to manage the loss and upheaval associated with going into a home and help them to move forward.

Improving Health and Healthcare: Ensuring adequate access to healthcare services and promoting health to optimise residents’ quality of life.

Supporting Good End of Life: Valuing the ‘living’ and ‘dying’ in care homes and helping residents to prepare for a ‘good death’ with the support of their families.

Keeping Workforce Fit for Purpose: Identifying and meeting ever-changing training needs within the care home workforce.

Promoting a Positive Culture: Developing leadership, management and expertise to deliver a culture of care where care homes are seen as a positive option.

You can find out more about all the 8 themes on the MHL UK website where each theme has a summary, resources and a DVD encouraging staff to learn more about residents’ lives and helps them to tailor their care to each individual.








What people are saying

Linda Robinson - CEO, AGE NI

‘Age NI is delighted to be involved with My Home Life.  We believe the approach can make a positive impact on the quality of care experienced by residents in care homes’                              

Alan Lennon -  Chair, RQIA

"The personalised approach to care, developed through programmes such as My Home Life, is a great fit with RQIA's aspirations for excellence in care of older people"

Janet Dodds - Care Home Manager, Omagh

The leadership support programme working alongside the practice development sessions was a fantastic approach because you were learning about yourself as a leader and then driving something practical forward.  It ticked all the boxes….it was hard at times but very exciting and very worthwhile”

Louise McCloskey - Care Home Manager.  Londonderry

I' ve been a care home manager for 20 years and this has been the most rewarding programme for me as a manager.  I would to do it all over again!”

Watch Part 1 of a series of videos which contain Managers testimonials and comments about the MHL programme

+more videos are available to view from this link