Case Study – working creatively – D’s story

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D’s story –  A case study from Walsall Council

D’s case was allocated to a Social Worker in May 2016 following request by citizen to access additional hours in the community. D currently receives 9 hours PA support to access his local community. D is deaf and blind and has ongoing health issues, which require him to attend regular doctor/hospital appointments, which often use up his allotted time of 9 hours per week.

One possible solution that has been discussed is to contact the health departments in question (e.g. GP surgeries, Dentist, Opticians, Chiropodists, Hospital Departments etc) and stipulate that they could provide payment either for the P.A. (supporting D) when acting as an interpreter/communicator during the medical appointment OR they could arrange and pay for a Deaf/blind interpreter for each appointment. This could be arranged when they book the medical appointment. By doing this, the amount of PA support used up for medical appointments would be reduced.

Regarding Local Community and social access hours for D, it was identified that D’s current allowance of 9 hours per week is not enough. It was identified that without the help of the P.A/Support D is virtually a ‘prisoner’ in his own home, meaning he is completely unable to leave his home or even go outside of his front door. D, being completely Deaf/blind, is unable to entertain himself by reading, watching TV, using the internet or listening to music or the radio. D is a highly sociable person and needs to experience things through touch and smell, as well as continuously relying on the P.A. to explain what is happening in the world. Without this support, D and his wife, who is also deaf/blind, would have nothing to converse about and our concerns are that D’s mental health would deteriorate. The association between dual sensory loss (DSL) and mental health has been well established so this is a real concern for all those involved supporting D. The opportunity to leave his apartment and socialise in the community allows D to maintain a high cognitive function, sustain his mental health, and allows him to communicate with his wife by giving them topics of conversation.

With support from the Sensory Team at Walsall Adult Social Care and Inclusion, D’s Social Worker is currently in the process of exploring creative ways to enable D to access his community in the way that he would like, without putting too much of a financial strain on the department with increased support hours. One option being explored is to introduce D to a fellow Deaf/blind neighbour who lives locally. Currently, this neighbour receives social care funding to access his local community for 15 hours per week. As part of social work intervention and long term care planning. It will be explored whether D and the neighbor share similar interests ans can meet up and go out together using shared P.A. support. This would enable D to access the community more than he currently is, without Walsall Council having to fund additional hours.

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