Alex - Supported Decision Making

Alex was spending more and more time alone in his care home, where he lived under a Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) order. Alex's advocate worked with him to find a way to communicate and looked at what activities and support options were available to him. Using their new communication techniques, Alex was able to let staff know what he wanted and a programme of inclusion has been put together. Alex is now happier, and more settled in his home, and staff there are now able to include Alex in decisions about himself. 

Alex has been spending more and more time alone in his care home under a Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) order. His dementia is getting worse, and his acquired brain injury and physical disability means that he is only able to say a few words.

Because Alex doesn’t have anyone that can help him understand his condition and situation, a VoiceAbility IMCA DoLS advocate was brought in.

When Alex and his advocate first met, Alex seemed unhappy living at his care home. So his advocate worked with him to try and understand what he wanted.


Communication Techniques

Alex’s advocate used wipe boards with pictures, emoticons and thumbs images to help Alex communicate how he felt about different situations.

Through the work, which took place over several visits, his advocate could see that Alex was unhappy, and spoke with the care home staff to see what options were available for him.

The VoiceAbility advocate spent time with activity co-ordinators and they looked at 1 to 1 support options and activities to help him join in and prevent further isolation.

They checked with Alex whether these were things that he wanted and he indicated that he did. His advocate filled in an application for a DoLS review and arranged for the 1 to 1 support to begin in the meantime. When the review took place, Alex’s advocate supported him using their communication tools, to say what he wanted.


Part of the decision making process

Alex has now been referred to the speech and language team to help him communicate further and he is now accessing several activities in his care home. Staff at the home now understand how to help Alex tell them what they can do to support him.

Supporting Alex to communicate what he wants has meant a complete change in the quality of care for him and he now seems much more settled, indicating that he is now happy at his home.