Simon is 69 years old and has a moderate learning difficulty. Art is very important to him. He is a well-known local artist in the community and has exhibited his work at local galleries. He has also sold many of his pieces. Simon attends an art day each week and also has a number of friends in the local art community whom he socialises with.

He was referred for support from a POhWER Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) because the Shared Lives care home where he lived could no longer meet his needs and so he needed to move. At that time, Simon had been deemed to lack the capacity to decide where he should live.

Theresa, a POhWER IMCA who had worked with Simon before, went to visit him at the shared lives home. She knew that using pictures helped Simon to understand information so she printed pictures of care homes and care home environments to help her to explain these types of placements to Simon.

Theresa met with Simon and his carer and explained in simple terms the need for him to move to an alternative placement. She used the printed pictures to help explain this process.

Theresa talked to Simon about his option. Option one was for him to move to an alternative shared lives placement. Another option was for him to move to a residential care home. Simon was unable to clearly understand his options and what they would mean for him. So Theresa talked to him about his likes and dislikes within his current placement. Through this conversation it was clear that Simon enjoyed a smaller homely environment and was not keen to go to a large residential care home. Simon was also clear that he wanted to continue with his art work in the community and have the opportunity to continue with his social activities.

Simon asked if he could take his toys, belongings and name plaque with him if he moved. Theresa asked if he could show her his name plaque. Simon retrieved the plaque from his bedroom door and she used it to explain that it would go on a new bedroom door in a new home. Simon was able to understand this and became quite excited about having a new room and taking his name plaque with him. Theresa continued to use Simon’s name plaque against the pictures that she had printed - this reinforced the idea of moving for Simon and helped him to focus.

Theresa detailed Simon’s views and wishes in her report to the social worker who would be in charge of finding a new placement for Simon.

The social worker was keen to have Theresa’s input throughout the process regularly communicated with her regarding possible placements and whether they may meet Simon’s needs. Eventually the social worker found a placement in a small residential home where Simon would have regular access to the community and would be able to continue his art interests on a weekly basis.

Simon subsequently moved to this placement. Simon appeared settled and happy in his new placement and was accessing the community on a regular basis to continue his art work.

Theresa was asked to attend a Care Review as his appointed IMCA. During the Care Review discussion Simon said “I am happy Theresa came to see me.” “I like it here, I am not moving anymore now.”