Supporting personal choice

At Ashland Road West, our care home in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Assistant Manager Hannah has created a simple but effective way to ensure mealtimes run smoothly and residents have their personal choices met.

The home for adults with complex needs, both physical and learning disabilities, is devoted to offering person-centred support. Individual choice in a supportive environment is key to delivering a sense of happiness and wellbeing.

Residents are encouraged to express choice in the things they like to do and the food they enjoy. But this can be challenging when a person has complex, multiple needs and finds it hard to communicate their wishes.

When new colleagues or temporary staff are introduced to the service, it can be harder for them to support these choices, which can trigger behaviours.

Personal choices

Hannah has created a great solution, to ensure meal times run smoothly and residents’ individual choices are respected and met.

She has created personalised placemats for each resident that feature the person’s name and photograph in addition to listing their likes and dislikes, as well as important nutrition and diet information.

  • “I like to be in a quiet environment away from crowds.”
  • “Please use the blue plate … I can see bold colours better.”
  • “I do not like porridge but do enjoy an egg sandwich in a morning.”
  • “I enjoy coffee with whipped cream on.”
  • “I like using my [Stormtrooper cup]. If I don’t see this cup, this could be why I decline drinks.”

'A life of opportunity and choice'

Hannah said: “These simple instructions have made a fantastic positive impact to mealtimes at Ashland Road West. Colleagues are secure in the care they give, and residents can feel confident and happy knowing their individual preferences will be catered for at the times when it matters most.

“It’s all part of supporting people to live a life of opportunity and choice. Giving our residents this agency is so important for empowering their sense of independence in their daily lives.”

Learn more

Find out more about how we support adults with complex needs on our care and support pages, and read about our future plans in our new Care and Support five-year strategy.