• Tenants - Case Histories

Case History Independent Living And Challenging Behaviour - A cost saving and person centred model

'Social care is facing tough times.  Social workers are deployed principally as border patrol, policing access to increasingly insufficient resources against a growing clamour of seemingly limitless need.  The only access point, a humiliating demonstration of vulnerability and dependency.  It is a deficit model that has dominated practice and policy for decades. Yet it is now clearer than ever before that it is unsustainable.  Social care is consuming an ever greater share of Council resources while the number whose needs it meets is paradoxically diminishing, shunting costs onto the NHS and leaving increasing numbers of people struggling to cope.' (Paul Burstow, MP, in Fox, 2013)

This project could have been inspired by Burstow's words and the research in 2013 by Lynch, Miller and Glasby ‘Turning the welfare state upside down?’ Developing a new adult social care offer Policy Paper 15.  Drawing on multiple parties' opinions and suggestions, coupled with a true willingness to be courageous and humanisitc in action can produce a developmental and community centred plan.  Not only does such action satisfy the needs and desires of a future tenant and their supporters, but produces an integrated community, and a saving to the State purse.  A win-win.

In this case, following a person centred planning undertaking, a statutory authority agreed that one of the individuals they had responsibility for was inappropriately housed.  The person in question wanted a home that afforded much greater independence and participation in the community, but had been hindered in accessing this by both a physical impairment and exhibiting on occasions 'challenges'.  The care package that was originally established was centred on a 'nursing' model.  There existed the requirement to take this forward into an innovative supported living undertaking.

T.P Properties were commissioned to find and suitably adapt a single tenancy bungalow that would accommodate the issues surrounding the future tenant’s physical disability and distinct support needs.  Following consultation the items below were seen as vital plan components:

  • Architectural planning to afford the necessary turning circles, space, accessibility and social requirements, including an open-plan living and dining area
  • Removal of walls and rearranging the dwelling's rooms
  • Addition of a sleep over room
  • Covered smoking area outdoors
  • Full ramp access
  • Bespoke shower room of dimensions large enough to accommodate a bed of 'hospital' proportions
  • Ceiling mounted hoist tracking
  • Accessible low level kitchen work surfaces
  • Innovative patio doors which utilise low level threshers to gain easy access to the garden
  • Flooring which allows ease of movement, yet still provides a 'homely' feel via the use of polysafe laminate beech effect cushioned floor
  • Individualised fire system, using a fully interlinked smoke alarm, effecting door closures in the event of a fire; snatch times and mechanisms were also drafted into the plan
  • Full redecoration
  • Opportunity to accommodate tenant desires
  • Future proofing of the home to add any anticipated tenant changes in living style
  • Assistive technology front door alerting system
  • Consideration of means and hours of support, as modification of the location or layout could ensure a cost effective streamlining of hours without compromising safety

This refurbishment was indeed extensive.  However, it offered a huge expenditure saving to the tax payer from the original nursing provision, whilst promising the tenant the 'normative' life style that had been wanted.  As reported by the NHF, 'housing is now explicitly referenced as part of local authorities’...duty to promote the integration of health and care'; housing's power to bring positive change is indeed vast.

'Personalisation? I know this is happening when I am treated with warmth, respect and honesty - when people listen to me, treat me as an equal and support me - and when I don't have to fight all the time to get what I want to help me recover and live my life the way I choose to.' (Mental health expert by experience)  

It is the belief of T.P Properties that irrespective of impairment all hold the citizenship right to have a home of their own wherever deemed desirable.  Where we differ is our ability to consider, modify and actually deliver these bespoke community enhancing solutions.  

Article
Kitchen redesign