Personalising my supports
Individual funding has brought about for me a flexible, person centred approach to my day program.
The paradigm shift to person centred approach and individual supports has liberated me to be included in the community, similar to everyone else, on a regular basis. Better equality of opportunity to experience the world around me.(Experience being the operative word).
Each support person bringing their own independent skills, personality, understanding, ideas and energy while at the same time maintaining a broad mix of interventions all related to optimising my wellbeing, personal goals and aspirations.
‘Quality of Life Domains’ encompass:
However, paramount was having the “right” support people. Thus, person centred practice aligning me with my allies (and their hearts, minds and skills) around a common understanding of what is desirable for me. As well as interactive problem solving generating creative solutions to overcome any constraints and barriers.
Everyone is born into a common humanity and deserves a good life. Person centred support highlights the value and importance of matching support to individuals as a way of achieving their potential regardless whether the outcome is big or small.
One size doesn't fit all...
Like most things in life one size certainly doesn’t fit all so when it comes to creative support for severe disability to be ‘out and about’ in community-it comes with its challenges but individualisation and the functional impact
of responsive, creative , flexible support as opposed to traditional day programme grouping and routines- is essential now and for future forward planning for my daughter Angela.
*…have choice –how life unfolds/lifestyle of choice
*…opportunities to belong/community environment
*…lifelong learning(both active and passive learning)
*…feel safe and secure(personalisation)
*… access intensive support to achieve goals (individualisation/daily)
*…enjoy and have fun/sense of pleasure
*…right support matching-collective ideas/skills/personalities/values
*… embrace flexibility, change and adaption above predictability and uniformity
*… alternative ways to create better social conditions for severe disability
*…difference recognised ,respected and viewed as valued citizen
(Creative) –CIRCLE OF SUPPORT (Intricate Network)……values based recruitment with right attitude to work with severe disability. With a touch of empathy…………. Enhancing the humanity and dignity of a person with a severe disability while challenging overall previous stereotyping and limitations(let alone labels) thrust upon someone like Angela and the effect of these attitudes on a persons inclusion in the community.
Consideration and juggling of support workers availability, reliability and continuity and willingness in achieving the right outcomes for Angela is an ongoing practice.
Of course the need for support workers awareness of accountability and responsibility of their own actions during the time of support is another factor.
So, unpacking the complexity of planning for a person with cognitive/physical disability and complex support needs on one hand plus funding allowing co-ordination of right support matching (personal capacity, sound judgement derived from experience)one can have some anxious moments.
But changing to community environment and individualised support- to meet Angela’s needs -is increasing her capacity (small as it is) and her self determination.
Hoo-ray!!(Mum says) – just like everyone else given the opportunity of right support one continues to learn and experience the real world, new relationships, while feeling safe and secure.
For Angela, choice is a means to expressing and maintaining identity, dignity and autonomy. Self determination or control over one’s life is a goal –and choice enables this. Anyone can have a ‘plan’ but the recognised difference between theory and practice of that plan can be a wide gap. Individualisation helps diminish that gap and any lull in activity or care.
So proud of you Angela- and a thank you to all her support workers who encourage and assist growth and offer a shared commitment to achieve a lifestyle of choice for Angela.