Most people have an idea of what a care home is like, but often this image is one of elderly care. For people with learning disabilities who need care at every stage of their lives, a care home looks different. Let’s take a look at what people with learning disabilities need from a care home and how we provide for those needs.
A safe space
A safe place to call home is something almost everyone needs in life. A place where you have everything you need both physically and mentally. Halland House is an Edwardian house that has been added to and updated over the years, making it a large but homely place with a comfortable atmosphere. This family feeling is reinforced by the people in our team and the way we run things. You won’t find starched uniforms at Halland House. Everyone is part of the family and supports one another.
For many people with learning disabilities, continuity is a big deal. Being moved from place to place, or care staff changing regularly, can be incredibly stressful. We see Halland House as a long-term home for however long it’s needed, even for life. Having different areas for different levels of care means that we are able to provide continuity of care in line with people’s changing needs.
With staff and residents who are together long-term, the family feeling is even more enhanced. We always make sure anyone new coming in is a good fit for our tight-knit units.
People with learning disabilities also need the right level of care. Too little and their needs aren’t met, too much and they can feel frustrated. We’ve split Halland House into three sections, each providing a different level of care, meaning each section has a small group of people that is more like a family than a group of care home staff and residents. This enables us to provide a living space and care that is appropriate to people’s needs. From our highly-dependent residents, some of whom have mobility issues, to residents of the lodge who are learning independent living skills, we make sure everyone has the level of care they need.
We work with person-centred care plans, each tailored to include the individual’s wants and needs. They are reviewed regularly and designed to be adaptable to the changing needs of the person.
Freedom of expression
While having one’s physical needs attended to is essential, we all have mental and emotional needs too. People with learning disabilities deserve a fulfilling life as anyone does, which is why we help residents to develop and work towards personal goals.
Residents are encouraged to express themselves and make themselves at home in a variety of ways. They can have their own furniture and decor in their room, making the space an extension of themselves. We have lots of craft activities which can be therapeutic or simply fun, and we even put on plays for entertainment.
Communication is key to expression, and this is something that people with learning disabilities often have difficulty with. Our team is trained in different methods of communication, an important element when looking at what people with learning disabilities need from a care home.
Keeping occupied each day is an integral part of living a happy and fulfilling life. Our numerous activities help in providing things to do, plus having our own minibus means that we can go on regular outings. Some people like to visit shops or cafes while others prefer trips to the countryside or beach. We do all we can to accommodate our residents’ requests for trips out.
You can find out more about the services we provide at our learning disabilities care home in Uckfield, East Sussex, by visiting our website.