Learning Disability Support
Providing Learning Disability support at home for adults, in Milton Keynes.
In the past, residential care homes were seen as the best option for adults with learning disabilities. Luckily there are now so many more learning disability care options available, which helps these adults to live more independent and fulfilling lives.
What is a Learning Disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability due to neurological (brain) damage or genetics. It can affect how a person is able to carry out daily tasks and activities, along with how they understand the world around them and how they communicate with others. Usually, (on a scale from mild to severe), the learning disability an individual has and how it affects their life will vary greatly, from person to person.
Causes of Learning Disabilities:
- Before birth – illnesses to the mother, or genetic abnormalities
- During birth – lack of oxygen, head trauma, or being born too early
- After Birth- can be caused by accidents, illnesses, or seizures
Our approach to Learning Disability care
At Intrust care we offer at home care, for adults with learning disabilities in Milton Keynes. Our services enable you or your loved one to stay in the family home or to live independently in the community, with our ongoing support.
First and foremost, we are passionate about treating people as individuals and understand that care should be shaped around not only a person’s needs, but also their preferences. Before any care is undertaken, we perform a thorough assessment to find out which daily activities you or your loved one find most challenging, and what your main concerns are. It allows us to create a truly personalised care plan, so that you get the specialised support you need, when you need it.
With milder learning disabilities some of the services we can offer are:
- Helping to prepare meals
- Assistance with life skills
- Helping you to complete household tasks and daily activities
- Taking you to appointments, social events or accompanying you on trips out
- Assisting with personal care if necessary
- Helping you to manage your medications
- Assisting with filling in forms, managing money and applying for volunteer positions or part-time work
If your loved one has a more severe learning disability they may need 24-hour live in care, or a higher number of visits each day. We can provide this, as well as helping with mobility issues around the home, assisting with nutritional needs (including PEG feeds), helping with medications and any other complex care needs.
Whatever your learning disability care needs may be, our skilled and experienced team can help.
Challenging behaviour can be seen in some individuals with a learning disability. It is a broad term that can be defined as behaviour that is a challenge for others to manage, and may put the person, or others, at risk.
Aside from putting the individual or others at risk, it may make it difficult for that person to take part in social, educational, or leisure activities. The behaviours that challenge can also disrupt home life and put stress on family relationships.
How does challenging behaviour present?
Behaviours that challenge will vary from person to person, but will usually take one of the following forms:
- Aggression – biting, hitting, kicking others
- Self Injury – hitting oneself, slamming into walls or other objects, head banging, biting oneself, or scratching
- Verbal Outbursts – shouting, screaming, swearing, or making loud noises
- Damaging Property – breaking objects, throwing things
- Sexualised Behaviour – exposing themselves in public, or inappropriate sexual language and communication
- Soiling / smearing faeces
Why does challenging behaviour occur?
There is always a reason for someone to exhibit behaviour that challenges, even if it is not immediately obvious. The behaviours will be serving a function for the person in some way or another and may stem from the way support is being offered, or not, in some cases.
Common reasons for behaviour that challenges include:
- Difficulties Communicating – they may be unable to communicate what is wanted or needed
- Emotional dysregulation – this could include frustration, anxiety, anger and being unable to label or express these emotions
- Social attention – either to get needs met, or if they feel ignored or excluded in what is going on around them and decisions in their daily lives
- Sensory – they may be finding the environment too noisy or bright, or the behaviour itself may feel good
- Avoidance or escape – it may be difficult to deal with the current situation, so by reverting to the behaviours as a coping mechanism they can avoid or “escape” a situation in which, they do not feel comfortable
- Boredom – the person may not be stimulated enough and need an activity they enjoy, to engage in
Managing challenging behaviour
At Intrust Care we firmly believe that with the proper support challenging behaviour can be avoided, or at least, reduced. We offer a truly individualised care plan, taking on board the individuals’ wishes and preferences. We also work closely with the family to create a genuine partnership between our client, their family, and ourselves as a care provider.
We implement a “Positive Behaviour Support Plan” which incorporates a number of things depending on the individual concerned, but will usually focus on the following areas:
- Communication – We encourage our clients to express themselves to the best of their ability. Questions asked are adapted as necessary, for example instead of asking “Would you like to go to the park, go to the shop, or watch TV?” we may instead ask three separate questions to make it manageable for the person to express their preference. In our clients who are non-verbal, we also use tools such as picture cards, to help them communicate.
- Routine & Structure – Changes to routine can provoke anxiety and distress in some people, so wherever possible we try to keep a routine that is both familiar and comforting. Each of our clients will have a dedicated care team of carers, which helps to foster meaningful relationships and trust.
- Triggers – We identify anything that may trigger challenging behaviour and do everything realistically possible, to avoid these triggers. Plans will also be created to de-escalate a situation, if it does occur.
- Quality of Life – Engaging in leisure and social activities is beneficial to us all, but particularly in people that may face barriers due to their disability and behaviours that challenge. We aim to help our clients take part in activities they enjoy, whether this is going to the gym, visiting the park, or a trip to the shops. This helps with development in a number of areas including social skills, independence, and also helps to improve self-esteem and confidence.
- Coping Strategies – We aim to help our clients to develop coping strategies for when things are starting to feel distressing or overwhelming. This could, for example, be breathing exercises, playing with a favourite toy, or other self-soothing activities.
Our managers are highly qualified and experienced nurses who have worked with individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism. They create individualised, person centred care plans for our clients, and provide vital support and supervision to our staff teams.