Learning Disability Week 2019 is the 17th to 23rd of June. POhWER will share one client story each day to show how we support people with learning disabilities.

Today's story is:

Joe’s Story

Joe is a 52 year old male with a learning disability. Joe has been living at the residential home for 11 years. Joe gets along well with the staff and other residents but has expressed that he would like to move on.

Joe stated that he has been at the residential home for “too long” and feels that it is time for a change. Joe does not like the fact he is getting older and will often tell staff that he is like “Peter Pan” - never growing old. Joe has made it known to staff and his independent advocate that he would like to live with teenagers. The advocate established that this was due to Joe‘s fear of getting old. There has been no history of inappropriateness towards teenagers and Joe has often become distressed when near people who are visibly older.

Joe has often spoken to his advocate about moving in the past but has also often changed his mind. The advocate decided that by meeting with Joe several times over the course of a few months she would be able to determine if he continued to want to move. She conducted many observations of his interactions with staff and residents and of his abilities look after himself. Joe was observed making his own drinks and carrying out other independent tasks. Joe always kept himself clean and tidy. Joe interacted with fellow residents and staff appropriately.

The advocate spoke to Joe about his options, being mindful of what words she used to ensure that all conversations were clear and concise so that Joe could understand. Joe’s learning disability means that sometimes he can get confused with too much information. His advocate would often ask him to repeat back to her the information she had given him to confirm his understanding. She also allowed extra time for his answers/responses while he processed the information.

Joe decided that he would like to request a care review so that he could share his views and wishes about moving. Joe asked his advocate if she could speak to staff about arranging the care review and support him on the day.

A review meeting was scheduled. Joe was nervous of the professionals around the table but, with his advocate by his side, he felt empowered to share his views about leaving the care home. Joe also stated that he would like to live with teenagers. It was explained to Joe that he would not be able to move in with teenagers but if he still wanted to move this would be considered.

Joe said he would like to leave the residential home to move into supported living. During the meeting the advocate ensured that Joe was included in all of the conversations. The community team said they would support Joe to move if this is what he would like. Joe is scheduled to have another meeting to discuss plans for his future. Joe has asked that his advocate support him again at his next meeting.

He told his advocate “Thank you for helping me to move. I have told everyone how I feel and they may listen this time. I really want to move somewhere else and I hope this happens. Thank you.”