This is a complex area of healthcare support. Many individuals with complex health conditions experience emotional and behavioural challenges in their everyday life routines.

With that in mind we have invested heavily in developing our support teams, so they are well versed in behavioural support techniques, interventions, de-escalation, and safe environments.

One of our experienced Case Leaders is a ‘Team Teach Champion’ in delivering ‘Behaviours that Challenge’ training to our support staff.

On referral of a support package, we take time to meet and understand an individual, gathering information from professionals, family, friends and people who know them best. We meet the individual and using different communication techniques start to build a picture of their life, how they behave in varying situations, likes, dislikes and triggers. From this, we agree small goals, encourage safe risk-taking building trust to support them in doing what is important to them.

We build on small successes and learn from setbacks to develop an individual’s belief, trust, respect and aspirations, enabling them to be as independent as possible. Where appropriate we provide respite for loved ones, this may be days out or short breaks for family to have some space.

Jake’s Story

Jake has a diagnosis of Autism and a severe Learning Disability, he requires 24:7 supervision from those who care for him. Jake is unable to communicate verbally, he uses his tone of voice to make noises, body movements and his facial expressions to communicate how he is feeling.

Jake displays behaviours that can severely impact on his life and sometimes may result in him, and his family being excluded from places such as schools, short breaks, or mainstream community activities. He at times displays physical aggression and behaviours towards other people and towards property too. He has a tendency to pull hair, nip, scratch and hit others, he may throw items, hit doors, or push furniture over.

Jake requires a consistent routine to reduce the chance of him becoming distressed. It is important an adult always supports him. He likes to feel in control, and he needs time to adjust to new settings and new people. Having familiar people around him who understand his needs and he can build trust with reduces the risk of him hurting himself or others and supports his ability to engage in activities and social settings.

Caremark’s Challenging Behaviour Lead has spent time with Jake and his family to understand him and his triggers. From this, we have developed a small team of knowledgeable trained support workers to support Jake so he has a consistency of faces and routine of support. They use their engagement, de-escalation, distraction, and positive intervention skills to promote and develop Jake’s engagement and behaviours.

Jake has got many strengths, including being happy and cheeky and has a great sense of humour. His support team have slowly introduced him to different things and started to build a trusting relationship with him. We have found that Jake has positive interactions with people he trusts around him and is tactile towards people that he likes. He has recently started playing tricks on his family!

With encouragement and routine he is not afraid of trying new things and is able to adapt to new places. Jake is brilliant at learning new skills quickly, such as swimming or trampolining and he also likes to try new different foods.

On Sundays, Caremark support Jake and his Mum to go to a centre in Sheffield, a building he is familiar with. Whilst Jake is usually quiet and reserved he demonstrated the confidence he has built in himself and his team by engaging with Kelly his support worker, smiling, laughing, showing positive body language, cuddling and playing with balloons.

Jake’s Mum had built sufficient confidence to leave Jake at the centre with his support worker. This enabled her to attend church for a special Father’s Day service. Her husband was already there but wasn’t expecting Sabina to attend thinking she would be with Jake at the centre. This was a real achievement for Jake, Mum & Dad.

Also when Jake’s support worker showed Mum the video of Jake at the centre engaging in activities she was amazed and delighted.

Jake’s Mother said

‘I was nervous to leave the Support Workers at first, but it turned out amazing. Jake went and sat with them which surprised me but I was so relieved at the same time! He has settled so quickly which may be a mixture of his new medication, how confident the Support Workers were and using the building in Sheffield that Jake was familiar with.’

Positively Achieving:

  • Positive engagement – Social inclusion
  • Confidence to try new things
  • Positive Behaviours
  • Parents respite

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