Supporting Raymond, an 84-year old man with a Learning Disability

August 28, 2020

Raymond’s Story

Raymond, an 84-year old man with a learning disability and additional complex needs, including a physical disability and a hearing impairment, moved into The Hollies, a specialist residential setting within Ty Hendy in Carmarthenshire Wales after a previous placement broke down.

Raymond, originally from Bath, had been living at another learning disability service but the team had found Raymond’s behaviour too challenging particularly his aggression towards the team.

The Hollies is renowned for being at the forefront of best practice in supporting individuals with a learning disability and other complex needs, which often requires specialist skills, knowledge and training and a person-centred approach that focuses on the unique needs of the individual.

The support team are all trained in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) and work closely with a dedicated inhouse PBS team who support them to produce person-centred plans and strategies to reduce behaviours and improve the person’s quality of life.

The team are also trained in ‘Living in my World’ specialist dementia training which as well as helping the team to ‘put themselves in the shoes’ of an individual with dementia, also helps them to understand life from the perspective of those with other complex needs, such as being deaf or blind or in a wheelchair and helps them to approach tasks and communicate in a way that minimises any potential for anxiety and frustration.

Lastly, to support effective communication, the team use a range of Total Communication techniques including British Sign Language (BSL) Makaton, and Pictorial aids.

Using person-centred planning, the team have really got to know and understand Raymond, including his likes, dislikes, the activities that he most enjoys and the things that are most important to him to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. As a result, since moving to The Hollies, Raymond has not displayed any of the challenging behaviour that had been an issue for him in his last placement and the team are delighted with how well he has settled in and become a popular and much loved member of the home.

As Raymond is deaf and struggles with sign language because of a previous stroke which effected the use of his left arm, the team recognised that it was important to support him to find an alternative way of expressing himself and to ensure that the support team were able to converse with him using his preferred communication method. The team discovered that Ray likes to have a notepad and pen so that he can write down his wants and needs and they support him to have these with him at all times.

Similarly, the team found that it is very important to Raymond to have a sense of control and autonomy over his life by making decisions for himself and by using the notepad the team can write down a list of options for him in different situations so that he can make his own choice.

For Raymond, valuing his independence also extends to physically getting around and while Raymond is in a wheelchair because he only has the use of one leg, he prefers to use his other leg to mobilise and move around rather than be pushed which the team understand and respect.

The team support Raymond to take part in lots of different activities of his choice. One of the things that the team have discovered about him is how creative and talented he is! From carving pumpkins to painting his own master pieces, activities involving arts and crafts are the things Raymond really enjoys. He also enjoys shopping for new art supplies. The team have supported Raymond to frame his treasured artwork which he proudly displays in his room.

Raymond also really enjoys the surrounding nature and the tranquillity of The Hollies. The team have supported Raymond and the individuals to make bird feeders which are hung out in the trees in the garden and he often enjoys replenishing the bird seed and sitting outside to watch the birds.

Recently the team also supported him to take a trip back to Bath in order to attend his brother’s funeral and to visit their family home. Raymond really enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane and it also helped him to come to terms with his brother’s passing.

Since moving to The Hollies, the team have seen such a positive difference in and look forward to continuing to support him to enjoy a good quality of life.

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