Clare Abrams, Activity Coordinator at Chesterholme, has been working on an innovative app to ensure improved communication and quality of care for someone she supports. We wanted to share her work with you all, as it’s such a fantastic way of ensuring someone is treated in the way they want to be treated, with their likes and dislikes respected, even when communication may be a barrier.
Clare is using an iPad app called ‘I Get It’ to create a visual person centred plan for an individual at Chesterholme who has limited verbal communication and a moderate learning disability. He is able to understand verbal and pictorial information, but uses his own variation of Makaton and signing.
This visual person centred plan takes the form of easyread digital books on an iPad that explain everything you need to know about the individual. This is fantastic for this person’s quality of care, as it means any member of staff can quickly read the most important things about him and be able to provide person centred care, even if they had not previously met him. The books are also great at helping this individual understand something in a familiar way, as well as helping him to plan his routine and activity timetable.
Clare has worked with him to create a number of books on the I Get It app, all visual and easyread, incorporating photos of him, his family, as well as places and things familiar to him. These include:
- All about me
- Things I like to do
- Things I do not like
- Places I like to go
- My favourite food
- My health
- People involved in my care
- My planned activities
- My morning routine
- My bedtime routine
All of the digital books can be edited to update information, which creates communication opportunities with the people you support. Clare is now hoping to work with the app developer to ensure the features meet people’s needs and new updates are being worked on that help boost communication.
Clare is also working to master another app that will be invaluable with this gentleman she supports at Chesterholme. She aims to reduce the barriers to communication that arise as he often uses his own words and signs for things. This is fine when the staff member supporting him is someone who knows him well, but Clare wanted to create a ‘communication passport’ that would mean new members of staff can quickly learn what this gentleman is saying. This app works by videoing him saying or signing a word, followed by a staff member saying what it means, alongside a subtitle. Clare hopes this will be hugely helpful, saving frustration for the service user and ensuring clearer communication.
Both of these apps can be used to ensure more person centred care for the people we support, and are a fantastic example of thinking outside the box to support people in the best way for them.