In celebration of Care Home Open Week 2022, two members of the Care England policy team visited two of Unified Care’s residential and supported living settings. Based in Wood Green, North London, Unified Care’s facilities provide support and a warm family atmosphere for adults with Learning Disabilities, Autism and Mental ill-Health.
The Care England team were welcomed by Shamir Islam, CEO, and Amanda Shields, Regional Manager, who gave a tour of two of their properties. Each of the homes were thoughtfully adapted to suit their residents’ needs while allowing for self-expression, with residents, for instance, having a great deal of freedom in the decoration and layout of their homes.
Early on in the visit, a non-verbal resident with Autism Spectrum Disorder showed the Care England team how she uses a personalised social story to make lunch. Shamir and Amanda emphasized that service users have independence and are encouraged to do things for themselves where appropriate, with support from staff.
Using the Positive Behaviour Support framework, Unified Care creates a person-centred approach based on a set of overarching values that commit to providing support that promotes inclusion, choice, participation and equality of opportunity. The results of the Positive Behaviour Support are assessed with outcome stars for each service user, and continually reviewed. From watching interactions between staff and service users, it was evident that there was a great degree of mutual respect, knowledge, and understanding.
Both physical and mental health and well-being are clearly of paramount importance at Unified Care. The Care England team were lucky enough to take part in a dance session, with a specialist dance teacher who regularly runs activities at one of the properties. As two of Unified Care’s settings are so close in proximity, residents from both houses are able to participate together, alongside staff. The dance teacher encouraged movements to help build gross motor skills and played music the residents enjoyed.
One of the service users explained just how important the freedom he enjoys at Unified Care is to him. His regular activities include being able to go on walks by himself and to Mosque with his family on Friday. He expressed his excitement at seeing his family for his birthday and going to stay with them for a couple of days. The staff at Unified Care explained the importance of continuous and dedicated work in behaviour management in allowing this freedom to be enjoyed.
The Care England team were also told about the opportunities that residents have beyond their everyday routines. Many residents are supported with day care services, and all have the opportunity to go on day trips or holidays with other service users. Shamir explained the huge benefit this has on their physical, mental, spiritual, and social wellbeing.
Care Home Open Week 2022, hosted by Championing Social Care, ran from the 27th June – 3rd July 2022. You can get involved next year by visiting Championing Social Care website.
This year’s campaign highlighted the importance of building connections with your local community and offered the public an opportunity to discover the care home on their street and learn more about the adult social care sector. The work that Unified Care do daily with their service users is instrumental in embedding them into the communities in which they live.
Care England would like to express our gratitude to the team at Unified Care for facilitating our visit, and for the service users for allowing us into their homes and being so welcoming.