At OneCare we take the time to foster excellent communication with our service users; we understand there are varying methods of communication and styles whether it is through language, speech, signs, symbols or body language or other non-verbal cues. These communication methods can be used in different according to the service users personal preference or need. We recognise and value British Sign Language as a language in its own right and value the importance of deaf culture. Ourstaff are trained to use BSL to a minimum level of 2 (indeed some use BSL as their rst language) and have specialist knowledge of Deaf culture and the barriers faced in communication. We support our DEAF citizens in their independence to lead fullled lives by providing care and support in our supported living units or in their own homes. Our approach in communication is to ensure we adopt a method of communication chosen by the service user to fully understand their requirements, aspirations and goals; and encourage them to express any concerns, priorities, including their likes and dislikes. Our aim is to ensure we provide the correct level of bespoke support in achieving goals and aspirations notwithstanding the challenges faced.
We also encourage and support individuals from the deaf community to work with us as professionals to contribute to the service provider for others in the deaf community with more complex needs i.e. those with dual sensory loss or multiple medical conditions, learning disabilities or autism. We recognise and embrace the wide range of communication methods other than BSL used by Deaf people such as Makaton or PEC cards and utilise these to achieve positive outcomes. We aim to treat our service users as individuals to establish meaningful relationships to strengthen our understanding of their goals to provide personalised home care or supported living package.
Challenges: The impact of barriers in communication for service users can create social and emotional isolation to varying levels; di‑culty in getting around can result in loss of confidence and affects independence and daily living skills. These experiences are common for DEAF people, and this sensory deprivation can lead to extreme levels of boredom, stress, depression and mental health. Meeting the challenges: It’s important to recognise the effect of sensory loss has on effect across the spectrum of a person’s life and relates to more than personal care; at OneCare, we are proactive in putting the individual service user first and foremost to support them as much or a little as they choose to maintain independence in their daily lives.
Some of the key aspects are:
• Physical health – To enable a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating and moderate exercise
• Mental – health To recognise and promote
social inclusion and adopt agreed strategies to prevent isolation and depression. To promote mental and physical well-being by engaging in the community
• Awareness and decision making – People may struggle to access the information required to make decisions – we will provide support in understanding the information at hand
• Maintaining independence – Many DEAF people have the skills needed to live independently but may require varying degrees of support to make use of such skills – through communication and guiding support
• Improving independence – People may need to learn new skills, such as mobility, new methods of communication or new ways to undertake daily living tasks
• Confidence building – Support in engaging and being involved in the wider community and the DEAF community not only reduces social isolation but also builds confidence to express feelings and thoughts providing an outlet.