About My Home Life

How it Started

My Home Life began in 2006 as a small project to synthesise the literature on best practice in care homes. Since then it has grown into a social movement to promote quality of life for those who are living, dying, visiting and working in care homes for older people. Over the past decade My Home Life has developed an international reputation for facilitating positive culture change and enabling care homes to both professionalise and articulate their expertise. It was launched in Wales in 2008, Scotland in 2012 and in Northern Ireland in 2014. 

Core Work of My Home Life

The core work of My Home Life includes:

  • Research and practice development, with a particular emphasis on collaborative action research, facilitated through the development and use of creative and inclusive methods

  • Developing educational and practice resources, and creating the conditions for their translation and use

  • Leadership support to enable care home managers to empower staff and to foster relationship-centred cultures within their care homes

  • Community development to strengthen relationships between care homes and their local communities

  • Engaging and influencing at national level through stakeholder engagement and social action, highlighting the implications of systemic failure to properly value care in policy or in wider society and evidencing the need to afford staff the time, space, resources and recognition required if they are to flourish in increasingly complex environments.

Programme Outline

The Leadership Support Programme is delivered over a ten month period through four initial workshops followed by action learning with each group meeting on a monthly basis.  Feedback from participants demonstrates that the leadership support programme enables managers to develop their leadership skills which in turn impacts positively on residents, relatives and staff. 

Specific to Northern Ireland, a practice development component was introduced. The participating care home managers work in subgroups each focusing on one particular MHL theme with the support of the Project Manager. This results in a range of practice development initiatives which recognise the individuality of residents, prioritised person centred practice and developed positive relationships with relatives and staff.


Ongoing Research and evaluation are interlinked throughout each cohort.

The Future

Two cohorts have successfully completed the leadership & practice development programme in NI. This was achieved as a result of partnership funding from Independent Health and Care Providers (IHCP) and Age NI. It has also been supported by Ulster bank through the provision of venues & refreshments. Further Funding is required for wider implementation across Northern Ireland.