Self Care Week at Future Directions

14th November 2017 |


This week is National Self Care Week.  This is an annual national awareness week that focuses on establishing support for self care across communities, families and generations.  There needs to be so much more done in order to support people to feel confident when looking after their own health. By empowering individuals to self care the benefits for their short term and long term health are huge which is important since people are living longer especially those with learning disabilities. By helping people to have a say about their own health and well being, is decreasing demands upon the NHS services.

This year's theme is engaging and empowering people to look after their own health and the title is 'Embracing self care for life' which the NHS hopes is suitable for self care messages for all ages, genders and will allow all the flexibility to focus on physical health or mental wellbeing, or both.

At Future Directions, self care is something we encourage for all of the people we support, enabling them to access what they need, when they need it.  We give the ability to live a full and active life in their own environment, in order to ensure all feel happy and encouraged to seek activities and experiences which fulfill their own personal needs.  We have an abundance of success stories at Future Directions but today we are going to tell you about Andrew and his story of self care.

Andrew has been working alongside his staff team for the past two years building his confidence enabling him to access the community unsupported.

Andrew has been supported by staff to put a reduction support plan together in order to achieve this which is regularly reviewed as he becomes more independent.

This process started with staff waiting outside of shops whilst he went in to purchase items, then Andrew going to the corner shop to get everyday items unsupported. 

This gradually built to where Andrew went to make his own health appointments, as well as walking and going to cafes, which is enhancing his everyday life skills.  It also allows Andrew to have control over when he feels he needs to access such appointments and not have to be bound by time to go for a walk if he wants to.  All of this has led Andrew to feel confident and happy in his ability to take control.

Over time Andrew now goes out unsupported for the majority of the day and has a mobile phone which his support staff use to ring him every 90 minutes to check he is safe and well. Andrew enjoys his freedom and the ability it has given him to be self aware.

To ensure Andrew is safe on his travels, he takes part in regular 'Road Safety Training'.  Two years ago when Andrew was supported by staff to achieve this he also went around the local community where he lives and put up ‘Safety in Town’ signs in shop windows of local businesses, to promote help and support for any vulnerable adults whilst being out in the community.  If they have a sticker in their window, a vulnerable adult can go and ask for help should they need it whilst out in the community.

Over the past two years people within the local community have got to know Andrew very well and have been very supportive towards him.  The local cafes where Andrew mainly goes all have contact details for where Andrew lives and will always contact staff members if they felt they needed to for any reason.

Andrew and his staff team are very proud of what he has achieved, as this has given Andrew a better quality of life.  Andrew's self care is growing each and every day and all at Future Directions are so proud of his achievements.  His story is helping others to realise self care empowers them to take control of their lives and enables a life which thrives.

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