Individuals and key people can express their needs, wishes and preferences either through the individual’s key worker, family member, friend or advocate or at a meeting with members of the care team. Having access to an interpreter, information in the individuals preferred language and listening to the individual will help them express their needs.
During a review is an ideal time to empower the individual and care staff can develop the skills needed to ensure the service user is supported in an empowering way. Giving the individual as much control over their lives as is possible by helping them to develop the skills they already have and involve them in the evaluation of their experience of the service is paramount.
An individual with visual impairment may find that books and any written material are better in Braille or large print. Audio books can also be useful to these individuals. The environment is also important as lighting either too bright or too dim would also have an affect in the ability of the individual to see, the individual will be able to tell you the best position for them to be in for optimum vision.
An individual with speech impairment may use sign language or benefit from the use of picture or alphabet cards.
When speaking to an individual with hearing impairment the environment must be appropriate and free from noise as this makes it difficult for the individual to pick out one voice among many. Speaking clearly and slow enough for the individual may help an individual lip read.
There are many agencies including GPs, social services, speech therapists and the audiology clinic that are of help to individuals with any form of sensory or physical impairment and the home will have access to all of these bodies and therefore be able to ensure that an individual receives the relevant help.