So how’s your day working out?
For a moment let’s forget about ‘personalisation’ or ‘person-centred services’ or ‘individual budgets’ and think about ‘people’ and ‘individuals’. Let’s start with thinking about ourselves, our individual needs as people – not just within our various roles but stripping it right back to the core of the simplest of things which we may not even acknowledge or notice but that are key to our everyday living. Do you like to set the alarm early and use snooze so that you wake gradually? Or do you leave the curtains open so that your body responds to the light to get you up for the day? Do you rise and head to the bathroom or is it straight for the kettle or the fridge or just for a glass of water? Do you like to dress and be ready for the day before breakfast or to sit in your dressing gown and listen to the news with a cuppa and porridge first? Or do you prefer music? Or quiet? Or toast and juice and to eat something more substantial mid-morning? I could go on but I am sure that by now you have the picture, these are perhaps small instinctive choices that you make each day and you make these because this is what feels right and helps you to meet your day and because you can.
Now imagine that for some reason you are no longer in control of these decisions. You are woken at a time and in a way that someone else has decided. You then have to wait to be taken to the bathroom for the appropriate staff to be available. The telly is put on to Day Break and you normally watch BBC Breakfast at best but prefer the radio. Breakfast turns up but it isn’t anything you like or would choose from your own cupboard and you still haven’t had a cup of coffee as the tea lady doesn’t come until the breakfast is all cleared away! (The well intentioned staff have noticed that you are not eating the breakfast and so have offered alternatives – none of which are to your taste as someone else decides the shopping list and what is actually available) There has not been time for someone to help you do your hair and feel presentable and in fact no one has thought to simply hand you your hairbrush and a mirror which is unreachable in your drawer. Finally your coffee arrives and the very nice very chatty lady gives you decaffeinated ‘cos it’s better for you’ and doesn’t put any sugar in and walks swiftly away.
How differently is your day starting? How do you feel at this point?Article by Tamar Irvine: Tamar is an Independent Support Broker and a Personalised Learning and Service Planning Consultant . Tamar is working with us to deliver training on a range of levels developing bespoke learning for individuals with complex barriers.