Mount View House worked closely with residents to enable the successful transition of a new person into the home
The care teams at our specialist autism services know how important it is to provide extra support to residents in times of change. Some people with autism find changes in their environment or routine distressing and difficult to deal with. So, when Mount View House were preparing to welcome another resident to the home, this consideration was kept at the forefront throughout the process.
The home, located in Rochdale, provides specialist residential support to up to eight individuals with autism. The team were aware that a new person moving in could potentially cause disruption to those already residing at the service. So, they worked proactively to make sure everyone at the home was fully involved in the process and supported through the transition.
Developing residents' understanding
The service’s positive behaviour support (PBS) practitioner worked closely with the rest of the support team at the home to develop residents’ understanding of the situation in a way that was accessible to them. To help the team understand how best to communicate the changes to each resident, a bespoke mental capacity assessment was developed.
Additionally, residents were given an explanation in the style of a story, which consisted of a sequence of pictures illustrating the situation. This social story supported each person to understand the changes that would be taking place at the home. The story included personalised images of the building work that was happening, as well as an introduction to the new resident. The support team also set up meetings with each resident, in order to capture individual views around a new person moving in alongside them. This gave everyone living at Mount View House the opportunity to raise any concerns, ask questions or even object to the idea altogether.
One person questioned if their relationship with their keyworker would be affected by the arrival of the new service user to the home. Another resident asked whether the arrival of the new person would affect their ability to engage in their daily activities. The team reassured them all that their daily routine and participation in activities would not be interrupted or affected in any way, and that new staff members would be brought in to work specifically with this resident.
Maintaining strong relationships
Where residents were unable to respond to the information presented to them, the support team at Mount View House consulted with their relatives, social workers and advocates. This ensured that those without capacity were able to have a voice on the matter and have their interests represented. Families and others were informed about the changes to the environment that were taking place, as well as the work that the staff team at the home were undertaking to prepare residents for the transition.
Everyone was reassured that the existing routines and relationships with staff would remain unaffected by the transition. Those consulted expressed that they trusted Mount View House as a care provider, and that they were happy with the process. One relative commented that they were pleased that the Mount View were providing another person with the opportunity to experience the same improvements in quality of life as their own loved one.
Supporting a successful transition
During the process, the residents learnt that the new resident uses a different method of communication to themselves. They expressed a wish to learn this communication style so that they could welcome the new service user in and build a rapport. One of the residents went along with staff to the Makaton training and participated in the course, learning all of the signs bespoke to the new resident. They were then supported to create a short video which captured them singing in Makaton, and this was shared with the new service user prior to the move.
The team learnt that involving the residents had significantly reduced their feelings of worry and instead, they were excited about the future. The hard work that went into ensuring residents have a voice when it comes to changes in their home environment, has allowed everyone to have their opinions heard and strengthened relationships within the service.
The home’s PBS practitioner said, “It has been a really enjoyable process to have the residents come on this transition journey with us. This is their home at the end of the day, and they have been so gracious to share this space so that other people can be supported.”
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