People with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) need a high level of support, but they are still able to make choices and have the same rights as everyone else. We take a look at what supporting people with PMLD involves and why specialist residential care can be the best option.
Profound and multiple learning disabilities explained
To explain PMLD, let’s split it into two parts. Firstly, we’ll look at profound learning disabilities. In technical terms, this means that a person’s IQ is estimated to be under 20, which equates to a mental age below 3 years. This means their understanding and communication are severely limited.
The ‘multiple’ part of PMLD means that the person has more than one disability. In addition to their learning disability they may have a sensory disability affecting their sight or hearing, a physical disability affecting their movement, or other health or mental health problems. People with PMLD often have mobility problems and other complex health needs.
Everyone is different and this also goes for PMLD. Different types of disability require support in different ways, but some things are common to most people with PMLD. Daily living activities that most of us take for granted are things that people with PMLD need help with. Washing, dressing, using the toilet, and eating are all things that are difficult if not impossible to do alone when you have PMLD.
Life is about more than just getting dressed and eating a meal, so it is important that people with PMLD have support in other areas of life. Everyone deserves to feel valued, interact with the world, and enjoy activities that make life fun and interesting.
Communicating is difficult for people with PMLD. Many are non-verbal or use only a few words, so other methods are communication need to be used. Signing, pictures and symbols can all be helpful, and body language and facial expressions are important. Because of this, it is best if support is given by someone who knows the person well. Understanding their mood, preferences and personality go a long way towards successful communication.
With the additional health problems that often come with PMLD, health care is an important aspect of support. Conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, and respiratory disease are more common in people with PMLD so carers need to be able to recognise if they are in pain or are having trouble breathing for example.
Advantages of residential care
For people with PMLD, residential care may be the best option. At Halland House, we have a dedicated wing designed for people with mobility issues with round-the-clock support. Our long-standing care team get to know the residents well so are used to interpreting their moods and needs. They are also trained in alternative communication methods.
We believe all our residents deserve to lead a happy and fulfilling life so we always work towards providing that. We have regular activities and outings to keep life interesting, and our large gardens are enjoyed by residents in good weather.
We work with person-centred care plans to ensure everyone’s needs are met. These are reviewed regularly as we know that people’s health and requirements can change.
Find out more
If you have a loved one with PMLD and think that they would benefit from moving into our learning disabilities care home in Uckfield, East Sussex, you can visit our website to find out more about us.