Finding ways to have positive conversations

An example of how this woman’s one-page profile has helped open up good conversations with her respite team so that they can support her well whilst away from her home.

Dorothy's one-page profile

Dorothy’s one-page profile

Written by Gill Bailey

Seventy-seven year old Dorothy comes to stay at the respite centre twice a year while her daughter has a break from her role as a full time carer. Dorothy has some very specific health needs and has asthma, heart problems, a hearing impairment and schizophrenia.

At just eighteen Dorothy got engaged to her husband who she sadly lost at a very young age and never remarried. Instead she concentrated on bringing up her children. She worked all her life from the age of fifteen up to her retirement. While the children were in school Dorothy worked jobs around school time, as they got older Dorothy worked longer hours as an machinist. Life was hard at times.

Whilst at respite we wanted to get to know Dorothy well, find out more about her so we could support her in the things she liked to do. Dorothy would often sit quietly alone and we hoped that by creating a one-page profile with her it might open up some positive conversations.

It did! Dorothy was very chatty about the holidays she enjoyed with her husband and children, Italy Payton and Margate. She also talked about her love of reading, she particularly likes the friendship book that is out at Christmas, she says it gives a lot of information about things that have happened over the years.  Dorothy also loves doing puzzles especially word searches. Of her time with us, she said that she enjoys her stays but is always happy to go home to her family. We created a one-page profile that communicated all the rich information we now knew about what was important to Dorothy and how best we could support her.

Dorothy is a very independent lady who likes her privacy and takes pride in her appearance, always immaculately dressed and turned out. Supporting her to look and feel her best is crucial to her wellbeing and so this is reflected on her one-page profile.

All staff are now much clearer about what works and what doesn’t work for Dorothy and her time with us is much more enjoyable for her as a result.