Adapting Care and Support
If an individual is diagnosed as living with a mental health need, dementia or learning disability, they are likely to need flexible services that can change how care and support is provided over time. This will ensure that care and support continues to be person centred.
Staff might need to adjust care and support if an individual is finding it difficult to carry out certain tasks or verbally communicate. Both the individual themselves and their support staff might need to learn a new skills or new methods of communication such as Makaton. If an individual has difficulty with their memory staff might need to learn how to use assistive technology like clocks and calendars, reminder messages or locator devices. The individuals themselves may also need support to learn how to use this technology.
It is important to understand that people’s reactions and attitudes towards a diagnosis differ. Support staff need to be sensitive to the possibility that though someone might be relieved to “get to the bottom” of understanding their symptoms, others could become suicidal and depressed. Any concerns about an individual’s wellbeing need to be reported to your line manager immediately.
The kind of support or adjustments to care can depend on the point at which they have had a diagnosis and how they were supported at that time. For example:
- Certain learning disabilities are not detectable until a later age, parents/carers may notice that their child is not meeting certain milestones and raise this as a concern. Parents/carers may be struggling to get the correct support or on the other hand feel supported and welcome this.
- Parent/carers may have been told by a medical professional that their child will not be able to do certain things and this lowers their expectations of the person. This can have a negative impact on the person, when in fact the person might have been able to do things with the correct support.
With the correct care and support some people with learning disabilities may acquire skills in adulthood that they were unable to attain when they were children.
Use to answer question 9.4b of the Care Certificate