The restoration of “Community” in several ways:
The needs of the learning-disabled and the elderly are remarkably similar in many respects. There can also be great advantages in linking. For example, a person with learning-disabilities may enjoy using a trampoline, and an elderly person may get great enjoyment from watching them – whilst not wishing a personal involvement, it is stimulating to see things happening.
As a registered Charity, the Project will be able to avail itself of the assistance of local Volunteer Bureau’s. There are a great number of people in the community who wish to offer their skills to others, in fields such as gardening; driving; administration; befriending; care; cooking; handy-men; administration; keeping fit; crafts; music…. The list is almost endless, and voluntary participation will be encouraged via Voluntary Centres in both this country and abroad; as well as from students (to enhance their CV’s); and university students seeking work-placements etc.
The creation of Community Resources:
In-house resources can soon become “tired” or even boring for residents. To ensure a constant supply of new, different, up-to-date and even challenging items, the Project will also develop a Toy and Leisure Lending Library on site.
This facility will have several benefits – there is the obvious benefit of new items to stimulate residents, but hidden benefits include the fact that it will draw in young people and their families to experiment with unusual leisure activities that are not usually available to them – bringing another source of fun and laughter on site, as well as new resources for Portage Services. In addition, individuals and local companies often like to donate something specific, and the Library can offer huge choice for donations at a wide variety of prices, to appeal to all pockets!
The involvement of other charities:
There will be animal involvement, such as cats to sit on laps and purr, and visits from dogs for petting. If grounds permit, there could even be carriage and horse-riding……
There are many charities which seek involvement with others for mutual benefit, such as The Cat’s Protection League, which seeks homes for animals when their owner has died; Guide Dogs for the Blind, who train their dogs to behave well around other people, to mention only two.
It will value Carers
It will not pay the minimum wage to staff. It will properly value the work of trained carers, and pay a realistic wage to staff.
Care staff should not be expected to also be cleaners, cooks, laundry people, handymen, drivers… There is tremendous value in employing specialists in the numerous, wide variety of fields. For example, a trained cook can really economise by using food to the best advantage, and even creating “an activity” for those who might enjoy making cakes, jams, and other produce. “Drivers” may also take pride in maintaining vehicles at good standards of mechanical competence and overall cleanliness.
It will create imaginative internal and external environments
The living environment will incorporate stimulating décor and interactive items. There may be a “sensory room”, but not one to which individuals are taken if they become stressed, as this may be considered to almost be a “punishment”. Sensory equipment will be installed everywhere throughout the residence, which can be turned on at the flick of a switch, as required. EVERY room should be able to become a “sensory room”, if necessary, which can include “feely walls”, lighting effects, background music and interactive equipment throughout – not simply a television set talking to itself.
There will also be “quiet” rooms and spaces for those who prefer them – both internally and externally – as well as communal rooms where people can come together if they wish to do so. The gardens will be sub-divided, to incorporate herbs and scented plants for stimulation and relaxation, and at a height that can be appreciated by residents. Areas to encourage wildlife, possibly even chickens, and areas to grow produce. Play equipment such as swings; slides; trampolines, which can be used or simply watched, and also outdoor, adult exercise equipment.
It will provide “Holistic Care”
This means it will consider ALL the needs of the individuals, and involve complementary therapies such as osteopathy; reflexology; healthy living and dietary issues as appropriate. It will also provide “beauty” treatments, such as manicures, pedicures, massage etc. to enhance overall well-being.
Involvement in these aspects, will be encouraged from therapists undergoing training in therapies such as speech, physio, osteopathy, reflexology, beauty therapy, hair-dressing manicures, pedicures, massage, dietitians…….etc.
There should also be therapy pools, jacuzzi baths and ‘washlet’ bidet toilets.