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Supporting Those with Learning Disabilities

We all want to make sure our loved ones live the most fulfilling and happy life they can, however for those with family members who suffer from one or a variety of learning disabilities, the responsibility for helping them to live their most fulfilled life can fall solely upon your shoulders. Sometimes, making the decision to bring in a professional carer to help your loved one fulfil their potential is the best option to ensure both their—and your own—well-being. Cera has a variety of tips that will help you to understand the options available to you and make a decision that best suits the situation.

Consistency Is Key

Both you and your loved one are the experts on their needs, likes, dislikes and the things that make them particularly happy. Whilst this expertise cannot be mimicked, it is also beneficial that caregivers are not repeatedly replaced, so that your loved one is able to grow in trust and be comfortable with them. Constant change and uncertainty will make your loved one feel less relaxed and happy with their care, whereas the benefits of consistency are enormous. Consistent company with the same professional carer allows both the carer and your loved one to build a rapport, understand the little things that they enjoy and ensure that any problems that arise are dealt with by a kind and familiar face. It is vital that the professional carer understands the nuances of the person they are caring for and how their behaviour might change when they are ill or upset; this can only be achieved through good communication with their patient’s family and support network as well as consistent interaction with the person they are supporting. Meanwhile, you can rest assured that your loved one is being taken care of by a person you can trust.

Training

Caring for an adult with learning disabilities can be challenging and a great deal of compassion and patience are needed. Therefore, for a carer who is improperly trained it can be an overwhelming experience. By making sure that the professional carer you choose is trained to an excellent standard and has as much experience as possible, you and they can be sure that they will be equipped to deal with and solve any variety of problems that could arise. While this experience and training will help your loved one feel relaxed and well cared for, it will also mean that the professional carer will be quick to learn about and understand the person they are supporting.

Personalisation

Each individual has different needs, different times when they need support and different interests. It can be difficult to know the length of care needed at any given stage; it could range from an hour in the evening whilst you see friends, to full-time, live-in support over a weekend if you’ve been called away by work. Make sure that the care provider you choose is always able to accommodate your schedule, no matter how often it changes. A good care provider should offer comprehensive care including additional services such as live-in care, respite care and household help. It can be a nerve-wracking wait to find out if your loved one likes and accepts the caregiver, so to make this process easier it helps to choose a care provider like Cera, who can handpick the professional carer assigned to you. By providing them with some of your loved one’s interests—perhaps their favourite film, board game or desire they’ve expressed to learn something new—your care provider can then match them with a professional carer who shares those interests. In this way, the bond between the carer and your loved one can be made much easier and you can have real assurance of a smooth transition towards them receiving the best care and genuine companionship.

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