What extra steps can carers take to help their Deafblind patients?
27th June to 3rd July is deafblind awareness week here in the UK, so here are a few key things to consider when caring for those with the condition. A big part of caring is not simply treating illness or disease, but about enriching the lives of the people we are responsible for. This is never more important than with the deafblind, who may struggle more than others to communicate.
Personal support is key
Deafblind people are entitled to a one to one support worker if they need them. This could be a communicator guide, who acts like an interpreter to help a person who has become deafblind in later life remain independent. Alternatively it could be an intervenor, someone who works primarily with those who were born deafblind, and helps them to experience the world.
Finding the right person for this, and consistency, is hugely important.
Help the patient retain as much independence as possible
Loss of independence is one of the main struggles of those who become deafblind in later life, no longer being able to do many of the things they previously enjoyed.
Making sure that they can do as much as possible for as long as possible could be as simple as getting them training to use a long cane, or using a guide dog.
New technologies to help the deafblind are changing thousands of lives, including talking book players, accessible TVs, screen readers, and screen magnification.
There are also many accessibility options for standard smartphones and tablets, and other devices, options which patients may need assistance to access.
Another new technology to consider adopting would be the Care Hires system, designed to link Care Providers with Staffing Agencies, to ensure that staff with the needed expertise will always be on hand to care for patients. Being short-handed means delivering high quality care to vulnerable people will be much more difficult, so not only will Care Hires help you run your organisation more efficiently, but also deliver the highest quality care possible.