How does a good conversation support people to get the help and reassurance they are looking for?
How can the principles of SDS be applied when people are not eligible for a social care budget?
iConnect North East is a local independent support organisation in Aberdeen city that provides information and advice on Self Directed Support and links people to events and activities in the local community. After seeing an iConnect poster in the Physiotherapy department of Woodend Hospital, Bill and Elizabeth got in touch. They were concerned about their Mother (Agnes) who had been in hospital for over seven months recovering from a stroke. The Hospital told them she was now well enough to go home and the rehabilitation support she had been receiving would come to an end. They were upset and angry that there was going to be no support in place and worried how she was going to cope all week on her own whilst the rest of the family worked.
iConnect met with Bill and Elizabeth in their central shop-front office. They listened to their concerns and spent the time asking the siblings about their expectations for support and what their Mother could and couldnâ€™t do. They used a 24/7 Calendar tool to plot out what informal support structures were there (or could be there) already. They saw that there was the potential for the wider family to support Agnes one or two days a week by visiting.
Having recognised that there may also be a mismatch in the expectations of the family and Agnes, they also met with Agnes, Bill and Elizabeth at home. They used this time to find out what Agnes was interested in and what she would like to do. They identified the local lunch club and a local ladies group that she was interested in joining. iConnect then contacted members of these local clubs who visited and told the family more about them and how they could arrange transport and support to get to them. These informal clubs had been identified by iConnect by the community mapping work they also do.
For Bill, Elizabeth and Agnes the time spent listening to their concerns and fears made all the difference. They were helped to see what natural support they already had (when they first felt they had none) and were put in touch with existing community groups. The type of independent support that iConnect can offer is important. The time for quality conversations means people feel they have greater choice and control about how to care for themselves and their families.
iConnect NE is currently funded through the Scottish Governmentâ€™s SDS Support in the Right Direction Fund.
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