Thousands of care homes across the UK will open their doors to the public for a day of events and activities today, as part of the second annual National Care Home Open Day. Its main aim is to create lasting links between care home residents and their local communities, but there are numerous reasons to get involved. Here are 10 of the best reasons from NCHOD organisers Care England and Care Shop. 1. Improve links with local community By opening doors to the local community it is possible to shout about all the positive things happening at care homes. From local dignitaries, to GPs or the local press, there is a whole host of people who would love to attend. 2. Challenge misconceptions associated with care homes In recent years the care home sector has been targeted by some negative press coverage as a result of a small percentage of care homes being badly managed. By offering transparency, people can see the quality of the care services in their neighbourhoods for themselves. 3. Recognise carers for their hard work Carers are hardworking people who go out of their way to improve the lives of those around them, but are often not acknowledged for the dedication and compassion they show to others. National Care Home Open Day takes the time for visitors to see the important impact which carers have on a daily basis. 4. Showcase care home facilities Care homes are bursting with excellent facilities, but how many people know about them? Whether a care home is looking to attract prospective residents or simply wants to celebrate what makes them proud of their home, inviting others to visit can do just that. 5. Share experiences Care home residents are inspiring, funny and fascinating people and their experiences deserve to be shared with others. Visitors can get first-hand knowledge about life in a care home; valuable insight which no leaflet or website can provide. 6. Create memories National Care Home Day encourages care homes to get involved in activities, meaning that the day is fun filled for everyone involved. So whether residents are getting involved in arts and crafts, music, or even taking part in this year’s International National Care Home Open Day Mexican wave, it will be a day enjoyed by all. 7. Promote a positive atmosphere With so much going on during National Care Home Open Day, participating in activities and events is guaranteed to create a morale boost and create a sense of togetherness for residents. The atmosphere on the day will be full of excitement, and guaranteed to get people talking for days to come. 8. Encourage volunteering People living in care homes get real enjoyment from short visits from those in the local community and carers always appreciate a helping hand from an eager volunteer. Visitors will be able to see what a difference they could make by offering a small amount of their time, and get a feel for working in the care sector. 9. Develop friendships By creating introductions, residents can strike up friendships or speak to familiar faces in the community they may not have seen for a while. It is also an ideal chance for newer residents to mix and introduce themselves to neighbours. 10. Enrich the lives of care home residents Those living in care homes deserve to be involved in special events, and feel included with things that are happening outside of their care home. National Care Home Open Day offers everyone something to feel part of, the chance to try new activities and meet people they might otherwise get a chance to. What are you waiting for? Get involved in National Care Home Open Day and show your support for the care sector by connecting residents with local communities to change perceptions of care homes for good. Visit www.nationalcarehomeopenday.org.uk for more information and follow the day on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #NCHOD.