This will be the section where you can stay up to date with stories, observations and reflections coming out of the projects. We will update these on a monthly basis and hope to show the examples of human rights in practice.
RECOGNITION VERSUS RIGHTS
“We were aiming for a Soil Association award, we really wanted this certificate – however they weren’t going to give us it because we still wanted to have corned beef and black pudding for our residents. I said, ‘I don’t want it if they can’t have a piece of corn beef’. They gave us an exemption order.”
On the outside, having an award for guaranteeing organic food seems like it would meet the residents’ human rights. However, when their favourite food is not available this is restricting their choice.
One lady loved it when a group of violinists came into the care home. This lady was coming to the end of her life, and we decided to arrange for the group to come in and play for her – it was the day before she passed away. When they were playing we could see a change in the lady, she was trying to sing. We tend to arrange things like this without thinking about it, perhaps we could ask more – we ask what music people want at their funeral but perhaps not in their final moments (when this is possible).
Even when someone cannot verbally communicate, observing and analysing how an individual reacts to certain activities gives the person supporting them an idea of what they enjoy and how to make it happen again.
DREAMS COME TRUE
“We were able to fulfil a resident’s end of life wish to be able to attend his favourite team’s football game, where they won. He was full of joy at being able to attend.”
Even when the resident was very unwell, he was still able to participate in the things he loved. All of which came out of a simple conversation in his bedroom.
One care home project had planned an event to mark the launch of the project which a Government Minister was due to attend. However, the care home was informed the day before that the Minister would now only be able to come at 09:45 instead of 10:45. The manager and staff communicated that this would be too early for the residents as they are normally getting up at this time and having breakfast.
By putting the resident’s needs first they were respecting their right to live life on their terms, to their schedule and not that of the service or someone else.
Kitchen staff make personalised birthday cakes with residents including things they love or are interested in. These ideas are gathered through conversations with family/friends and the resident themselves. Sometimes this information is gathered by outcome-based reviews but sometimes it is simple conversations with the person being supported and their relatives.
By knowing the resident well and being creative, the staff can tailor their approach, showing kindness and love and make a special memory for the resident on their birthday.