Why personalised care is so important
Personalised care (or self-directed support) empowers service users to take control over how, where and when they receive their care. It means putting them at the heart of the process, helping them to live happy and independent lives.
One the ongoing objectives of all social care organisations is the delivery of personalised care, and care and support professionals understand the value and quality of the experience it brings to their clients.
As stated in the Government’s ‘People at the Heart of Care’ white paper, personalised care is a key focus and priority.
The white paper outlines the intention for all service users to be able to say, ‘I receive personalised and inclusive support, where the people who care for me know me as an individual and recognise me as having unique strengths, and aspirations and know that my background, values and requirements are unique to me.’
In this article, we are exploring what a day may look like for a service user receiving self-directed support and how digital tools help to facilitate their care.
What can a home care service user’s day look like?
Dennis is 82 years old and has care assistants visit him two to three times a day, Monday to Friday. Dennis first received social care support after being admitted to hospital for a fall a couple of years ago.
He initially had some morning visits to help him get ready for the day but was mostly supported by his family. Over time, Dennis’ health began to deteriorate, having since developed arthritis in his hips and hands which make moving around and completing daily tasks more difficult.
Dennis and his family felt that he could benefit from receiving more frequent care during the week to better support his changing needs.
Let’s have a look at a day in Dennis’ life and how his support workers ensure that he receives personalised care.
It’s 7:30am and Dennis has a visit from his first care assistant. Unlocking the key safe box in the porch (as mentioned in Dennis’ care plan), she lets herself into the home and calls out, so he knows she’s there, ‘Good Morning Dennis, it’s Cheryl!’ Dennis is still in bed, so the first thing on his care plan is to be helped up and to the bathroom for a shower.
Cheryl knows that Dennis prefers to do his personal care himself, as set out in his care plan, so after leading him to the bathroom and popping a towel on the radiator to warm up, she tidies the bedroom and picks him out some clothes for today.
Once he’s finished, Cheryl helps guide him back to the bedroom, puts away the clothes Dennis doesn’t want to wear, and waits outside the room so he can get dressed alone but so she’s there if he does need a hand.
Dennis asks for some jam on toast this morning, and a cup of tea ready next to his newspaper. Cheryl heads to the kitchen, makes breakfast and checks the food in Dennis’ fridge to make sure it is all still in date. She notices the bread is now running low, so writes up a short shopping list.
Dennis is now sitting comfortably in his armchair with toast, tea, and the television on. Cheryl checks Dennis’ care plan again to see what medication Dennis needs to take this morning. Dennis takes his medication, and Cheryl updates the digital care system on her phone.
After a quick chat about the day’s agenda, which Cheryl and Dennis view on his care plan, Cheryl logs her time on the app and heads out for her next appointment.
It’s around 1pm, and Dennis is met by his afternoon support worker, Abdul. It’s not every day that Dennis has an afternoon appointment, but today he’s heading to the supermarket. Abdul logs his arrival on his phone and starts chatting with Dennis about last night’s football match.
Abdul checks the care plan, prepares Dennis some lunch and adds to the shopping list that Cheryl started this morning. Dennis asks Abdul if he’s able to get the clothes out of the washing machine for him, as he can pop the washing on but struggles to put it on the clothes horse to dry. Abdul starts to tidy up the clothes whilst talking with Dennis about what he would like to pick up at the supermarket, ‘I fancy a shepherd’s pie tonight’.
They head out for a walk to the local shop. Dennis is in a wheelchair today as he’s finding the walk a particular struggle now the days are getting colder. Abdul follows the shopping list, packs the bags and they’re back home.
They continue to catch up, Abdul gives the living room a quick vacuum, sweeps the kitchen and updates Dennis’ care plan and handover notes before saying goodbye until next week.
It’s 6pm and Cheryl is back to help Dennis with his evening schedule. After checking the handover notes, Cheryl can see that Dennis has already started cooking the shepherd’s pie that Abdul had shopped for, so she takes it out of the oven and goes for a catch up with Dennis.
Dennis talks about the football again, and Cheryl says her boys are starting to get into rugby now, ‘They seem to think playing in a scrum helps them with their geography homework!’. Dennis eats his dinner and takes the medication that Cheryl knows from his care plan he needs to take each evening.
After a quick tidy up of the kitchen, Cheryl helps Dennis upstairs, and the routine is the same as this morning. Dennis likes to use the bathroom himself; Cheryl prepares his bedroom for the night and helps him into bed.
Cheryl looks over the care plan and makes sure everything that Dennis had outlined for today has been completed. She makes a note of how Dennis felt today and sees Abdul’s update about Dennis’ mobility. They discuss about having a check-up with his GP, so Cheryl makes a note to also call Dennis’ family in the morning so they can book the appointment.
After saying goodnight and making sure the house is locked up, Cheryl logs her time on her phone, updates the handover notes and her shift for today is complete.
This personalised care is made possible by support workers who have tools that show them client care plans and updates at the point of care. Dennis receives his care in his own home, but the same level of personalisation can be adhered to if he or others have care in a residential setting.
Using a digital tool to ensure complete personalised care, no matter when or where that care is delivered, is the next step in enhancing the social care sector.
Technology can help you provide personalised care
Advanced Care Cloud is our flexible, Cloud-based, care business management solution, designed for any type of care or support provider.
No matter the size of your care or support organisation, or whether you provide domiciliary, residential, supported living, retirement living or extra care, Advanced Care Cloud will meet your needs.
Get in touch with us today to discuss how Advanced Care Cloud can benefit your organisation.