Who Cares? Enabling Choice

Who Cares? event

Comments from Lisburn Discussion Event:

  • Social care should be about continuity of care. The people you see should know you and be able to build relationships with you and understand what is going on with you so that they can signpost and recommend other services
  • Due to fact that the system is short staffed, badly managed or that people do not want to work unsociable hours, the system is taking choice away from users, isolating them and altering their lifestyles e.g.: being put to bed at 6.30 in the evening.
  • Care plans should be designed to the client’s wishes. E.g. not good that lunch is being served at 11.15am / being put to bed early / up to early in the morning etc
  • There should be an on-going debate between care workers their line management structure, service user and their support structure to get the person centred focus that the client needs and the service should be about. Basically on-going reassessment.
  • Social Care should tackle all a person’s problems, not just one or two which have been identified. Social care needs to look at the person as a whole and do whatever is appropriate for that person. Care must be individualized, not just a choice from a list of things that are available. Social care must ask the client what they need, not just impose. After all, the client knows best what would improve their life.
  • Everyone is an individual and must be treated as such. Patients know their own needs and what would help them but are never asked. The assessors seem to have a list of available services and just select things from that list based on their own judgement, without even asking the patient.
  • More training; more thought – ‘she just wanted a fried egg’ – but the care worker was not allowed to do that
  • The assessment process is a single point in time but in reality everyone’s needs change. There must be an allowance to go back and re-assess. Assessment should be about what a client needs, and not just what the assessor thinks they need. On-going assessment
  • The person should be assessed so the system and the social care worker actually know what the person needs. It needs to be a person centred approach so the person and their support structure should have a hand in the assessment.
  • No-one wants to go into a residential home to be left sitting there with nothing to do. However, some people do want residential care and for some it is the most appropriate option. The key is that it depends on what the person themselves want.
  • Social workers should sit and talk to the individual, find out what they actually want – individual needs – seen as human beings – take time to talk to people – its about choice and opportunity
  • Choice is important but previous experience of person-centred planning is that it isn’t real choice as it is limited/dictated by budget;
  • A social care budget that is paid directly to the client is very difficult to manage, especially for older people. Most older people do not want to manage their own budgets or become employers, however they do want to participate in directing their own care; they know their needs best.
  • Some discrimination on health issues because of age – need for GFS legislation.

Comments from the Omagh Discussion Event

  • The current system is not flexible and too rigid
  • Social Care should be about choice, your choice about how you want to live your life.
  • Understanding what people need. Some people need domestic care and others need simple companionship. A personal service.
  • The service given should reflect the nature of the person. If the service is needed immediately then it should be given immediately.
  • Care workers should provide whatever service is needed – currently they are not always allowed to do what is necessary eg. they will microwave food but not cook or wash up afterwards.
  • Really important that the same care staff keep coming back – don’t want to keep getting strangers and have to spend time acquainting new people with the layout if the house and the needs of the person – just eats into the valuable time of each visit. Want the opportunity to build a relationship with the same care worker so they know what the individual needs.
  • Treat everyone with the respect you wish to be treated with – people should be listened to properly.
  • Older people want patience – give the necessary time to be there for them particularly people who are bedridden or in wheelchairs who need friendly conversation and “something to lift them”.
  • It is about choice, choice about how you want to live your life.
  • The service given should reflect the nature of the person. If the service is needed immediately then it should be given immediately.
  • More flexible care. The care needs to be flexible and catered to the individual. Everyone is different.
  • Continuity of care and the effects on the individual are important. All services need to be responsive and personal.
  • Care packages need to be adapted to suit changing needs of the individual; there should be on-going assessment
  • Cocktail of activities required; there must be choice to get what is appropriate for each person. Often it will be several things together.
  • The main element is choice – to be able to chose the service you want when and where you want it.
  • The system must be ‘needs led and not resource led’
  • Social care should provide whatever someone needs – needs to be based on an assessment – different things for different people
  • My friend was being pressurized into moving into a nursing home even though she told them that she wanted to go home. Her brother was very good and he stepped in and made sure she got home. They needed the hospital bed, but had no care in place for her to go home – sometimes it seems easier for a social worker to place you in a home rather than make the effort to do what you want and what is probably best but might require more effort.
  • Folds are great – would like more of these. It is a good model – independence with a bit of protection/supervision; living your own life. And I think a lot cheaper than full on nursing or residential homes, and keeps people independent longer. More like renting an apartment.
  • Would people choose to leave your home and go to residential care? One man I know has done this – his family had all died or moved away, he sold his house and got a nice corner room and could take what he wanted with him. He now enjoys the company and is in a nice environment. His choice though!
  • Services need to be localised;
Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

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