Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate developmental and intellectual disability.
Most people are born with 46 chromosomes. However, someone born with Down’s syndrome will have an extra chromosome. This occurs roughly once in 700 babies.
The care requirements of individuals with the condition vary from person to person, with intellectual and developmental issues varying from mild, moderate or severe.
In this blog, we are going to focus on the support we provide for people with Down’s syndrome and answer some of the key concerns family members may have about how their loved ones may be affected.
How can Lisieux Trust help my loved one become more independent?
Our focus is on supporting adults with learning disabilities to live independent and fulfilled lives. People with Down’s syndrome often live well into their 70’s and 80’s.
Like everyone, the level of physical ability and agility of someone with Down’s syndrome varies from person to person, but there is no aspect of their condition that will impact their ability to take part in regular activities.
Many of our supported living tenants with Down’s syndrome have fantastic opportunities to integrate within the community, attend places of work, volunteering roles, higher education, and take part in regular activities.
We also support adults to develop and build skills in the home, such as cooking, cleaning and laundry.
How do you approach the care of an adult with Down’s syndrome?
Everyone receives a tailored approach to their care. A detailed assessment before placement, to determine the level of support needed because we understand that tenants might be highly independent in some areas of life but require more support in others.
How is the care funded?
In the current cost of living crisis, we understand that it may be a struggle to fund the care of a loved one privately.
Those in our care are often eligible to apply for a range of welfare benefits including housing benefit. These can be used towards help pay for their rent, utilities, groceries and activities. Where required we can provide support to anyone in our care to apply and manage their benefits.
Donations also help enrich the lives of the people in our care. For example, when we receive £15, it can fund a course for a resident or tenant, £30 could help towards nurturing hobbies and £50 helps fund social opportunities for our people.
Residential care at Lisieux Trust
With 11 homes situated across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live together, learn together and laugh together.
Find out more about the support we provide on our website at – https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/
Meet Samantha. She joined our team of Support Workers in February 2022, and has been thoroughly enjoying her role, working within one of our residential care homes.
Here, she provides insight into just what makes her role so fantastic.
I am a support worker at one of Lisieux Trust’s residential care homes. A support worker role is nothing like an office job; there is no set day-to-day routine. Every day can be different, but with the same goal – to make a positive change in people’s life.
Although I have only been with Lisieux Trust for less than a month, I have felt welcomed and included since the first day of my role. I remember the first day, coming to work, I was nervous and worried about what the role would entail. However, through training and support from the Trust, my managers, and other support workers, my knowledge and skills as a support worker have been growing rapidly day by day.
During a morning shift, I normally start off providing personal care to residents, through verbal prompts or direct support, depending on what the individual needs. After that, some of the staff will help to administer medication while other staff members will start completing different domestic tasks, such as laundry, cleaning, and preparing food. We work as a team to deliver the best support.
The residents have their own schedule every day. Some of them may want to go shopping, some of them may want to go for a walk, and some of them may have work during the day. As a support worker, I will go out with them sometimes.
For example, I may be required to walk a resident to work and pick them up when they finish, due to safety reasons. Other times, we may just go walking around in the neighbourhood. We talk and laugh just like any other people. It may sound ordinary, but it could be enough to make their day.
In my evening shift, we tend to stay in the house at the project I work in. However, it does not mean that there is nothing to do. Sometimes, we do colouring together, we talk about football, about family, or even politics.
At teatime, we prepare meals. Sometimes I provide residents with personal care support as well. As mentioned, it depends on what the residents need. There is always something to do.
Each resident has a different nighttime routine. For instance, some of them like to spend time in their room using their iPad before bed, and some of them may like to spend time in the lounge with others until they want to go to bed.At the house that I am based at, the residents often have a cup of hot chocolate together before bed.
As well as physical support, I do have to complete some paperwork too. These can be daily records about what has happened during the shift, and any other information that other support workers may need to know about what has happened in a resident’s day.
Before I joined Lisieux Trust, I had been a support worker for a year within another organisation. After relocating, and seeing vacancies within Lisieux Trust,I decided to be a support worker again; despite being offered a number of roles outside of care. This is because of the huge sense of job satisfaction I get in this position.
From my perspective, being a support worker is not a job to just support others, but also improve yourself. In this role, you are able to enhance yourself in different aspects, such as communication skills, interpretation skills, confidence and leadership. When you are making a positive difference in people’s lives, you are also making a positive change in yourself.