Greater Independence

An example of how this man’s one-page profile has helped him gain confidence and achieve greater independence.

Earl's one-page profile

Earl’s one-page profile

Written by Cat Eglington

Forty-one year old Earl uses our services at The Manor in Brampton, Cambridgeshire. Earl has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Spina Bifida occurs when the bones and nerves of the spine do not fully develop while the unborn child is in the womb. Hydrocephalus is also known as water on the brain.Earl’s one-page profile was developed to share information about himself with anyone who comes into contact with him at The Manor. He has two profiles on the wall in his bedroom, in pride of place for all to see. One is his original colour profile and another is a copy that Earl has coloured in and drawn on himself. Both are on the wall alongside all his pictures and posters.

Earl really enjoyed developing his profile and had lots of ideas that he wanted to share. As he is such a big motor sport fan he wanted a racing car on his profile alongside a picture of his favourite drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Earl’s profile was developed over a relaxing afternoon spent talking about the things that are important to him, his hopes for the future and how it is best to support him. Earl also asked friends what they liked best about him.

Within everyday life Earl’s one-page profile has been used to inform new staff and volunteers how best to support him and to understand more about Earl as a person; his likes and dislikes. The profile acts as a voice for Earl, communicating how he likes to be best supported and for staff at The Manor to understand how to fully support Earl on a day-to-day basis. His more detailed person-centred plan is available for anyone to read who would like to know more information about Earl or as a guide that can be referred to at any time.

Earl has become more confident as a person and more goal-orientated since creating his one-page profile and he clearly feels more connected to people in both a social and professional way as they can understand him better. Earl now has a girlfriend at The Manor.

Earls one-page profile sets  out the important information that people need to know to support him well such as; he likes to dress himself; he likes to get up early; he likes to be around people and he likes to read the paper. It also states what is important to him so that support staff know the food, people and activities paramount in his life.

Earl likes to be as independent as possible and he is happy that his one-page profile has helped him to do this. His support team recently helped Earl to order new equipment such as a banana board, a sling and a handling belt. All these items are to help Earl to maintain his independence.

The outcome of a one-page profile for Earl has been better choice and control. He feels empowered by the information he shares and believes that the team around him now understand him better and can help him live more independently as a result.

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Getting back on your feet

An example of how this 85 year-old used a one-page profile to help direct all the new support she was receiving in her life following a fall and a short hospital stay. Mary lives at home and had lost her confidence after her accident. Her one-page profile has helped her get back on her feet.

Written by Gill Bailey

Mary's one-page profile

Mary’s one-page profile

Mary is 85 years old, she lives in Preston in a house she owns and she has lived there for around 50 years. She has raised her children there and has fond memories connected to her home and would not like to move anywhere else. Mary’s husband George sadly passed away seven years ago. Since then Mary has been living on her own. Mary has always been independent and says she has been brought up not to expect any help from anyone and to “get on with it”.

Mary has devoted her life to raising her two children: daughter Diane and son John who both have their own families now. They live in Preston and visit Mary on a regular basis. Mary cherishes her time with her children and grandchildren and is delighted when they come to visit. They also often take her for a meal out.

Following a fall caused by an uneven pathway whilst out shopping, Mary was taken to hospital in an ambulance she was thoroughly checked over. Although nothing was fractured she was badly bruised and had lost her confidence in going out, as she was scared of falling again. It was clear Mary would need ongoing support from domiciliary care services and so Alex (a reablement team member responsible for supporting Mary back to living life as she chose) met with her and her family to develop a one-page profile.

The aim was to use the one-page profile with the various people and teams that would be involved in Mary’s ongoing care. It would provide a concise account of what Mary truly wanted and how they could support her best. A lot of rich information came out of the conversations with Mary and her family and this was used to inform her profile, which Mary ultimately wrote herself. We learned that Mary goes to bingo weekly on Mondays and to a lunching club at the local community centre on Thursdays which she thoroughly enjoyed and clearly wanted to continue.

We also uncovered that Mary doesn’t always remember to take her medication and she keeps it on the kitchen table so she remembers to take her tablets after breakfast. It was really important to Mary that she managed her own medication and she didn’t wish for staff to support her with this although she was happy for supporters to ask how she is getting in with her system.

Since the fall Mary uses a walking stick and feels safer and steadier with it than without. Mary is now confident enough to keep to her bingo and lunching club commitments, and considers herself to be “back to normal”.

Mary says that her profile really helps people get to know her quickly and means she isn’t having to tell staff over and over what she needs because the one-page profile does this for her. It means that staff can ensure she has what matters present on a day to day basis and that she is consistently supported regardless of the number of different people involved in providing that support.

Triggering happy memories

A powerful example of how a one-page profile can draw out the important information needed to support someone with dementia to re-connect with their past and feel happy and safe in their surroundings.

TobyWritten by Tracey & Rose from Merry Hill House

Eighty-seven year old Toby was born and bred in Wolverhampton. Described as a real gentleman, Toby’s wife sadly passed away five years ago. His son Sean is his main carer as Toby is now in the advanced stages of dementia. Sean says Toby was a hands-on husband and father and his family was always his priority. Toby has an infectious smile and personality to match, he has always had strong work ethics and Sean can’t remember his dad ever having a day off. He recalls fondly that Toby would often say; “the harder you work and save for something, the more you’ll appreciate it.”  Throughout his life Toby has liked things to be ‘in place’ and would always look immaculate.

Toby came every six weeks for a three night respite stay here at Merry Hill House. During his stays he would go around the unit collecting other people’s shoes and lining them up in his room. He’d also be fascinated with the electrical sockets and get quite agitated when staff tried to move him away for his safety.

A staff member sat with Toby and his son to discuss one-page profiles and how through discussions we could find a solution to help Toby feel happier, safer and more independent in his environment. Toby was present but unable to contribute a great deal verbally due to his dementia which meant that his son Sean was the one that provided the rich insight into Toby’s life.  It became clear very quickly that Toby led a full and active life, working and spending quality time with family. For many years he was an electrician and in his spare time he would take his son to a unit he owned where they built a barge together.

As a group, staff were asked to think about how we could use the information gleaned from his one-page profile to reduce the risk and to increase Toby’s wellbeing, giving him back the feeling of control in his day to day life.  We wanted to help Toby re-connect with his past and for him to feel busy as this is what he was used to. Together the team and Sean made a list of some of the items that would help Toby. Sean was to pack extra pairs of shoes when Toby came to stay and we were to provide shoe polish and a blacking brush so that he could polish shoes just like he did for his family as a child on a Sunday afternoon. We also filled a box with electrical items like plugs, light switches and a flex. Whenever Toby started touching the sockets or gathering shoes we were able to lead him to his boxes and he was happy again.

We have noticed a great difference in Toby’s wellbeing as has Sean who now uses the boxes at home too. Toby will spend many an hour polishing shoes until they are pristine, he will also sit with a small screw driver taking the plugs apart and connecting flex to them. We learnt this important information from Toby’s one-page profile and we are now able to support him to do the things that trigger his happiest memories; a wonderful outcome from having a good conversation and recording the important information on just one page.