08 March 2019

Complex care: Offering choice

"Would you prefer a cup of tea or a cup of coffee?" A simple question you're sure to hear in UK households several times throughout the day. Having the power to make these kinds of small decisions plays a part in our everyday lives. However, what happens when the notion of choice becomes a  challenge in itself? 

"Do I have a choice?"

On Friday, the Bristol complex care team hosted a care 'choice' workshop which examined how sensory deprivation has the power to affect both our understanding and responses to questions that may be asked in care settings. 

A volunteer put of a pair of soundproof earphones, a pair of sight-proof goggles and a pair of woolly gloves and was then asked to choose a biscuit from a selection box. Naturally, the sense barriers presented difficulty.

The purpose of the exercise was to illustrate just how significantly limited hearing, short sight or blindness and other limitations regarding sensory control, can subsequently limit our ability to make fast choices. 


Exercising choice in care 

The point of allowing choice is that it demonstrates that we treat our service users with dignity and respect, as adults capable and willing to be involved in decisions regarding their medical care.

If someone has the capacity, they have the unwavering right to make these decisions. This includes choices surrounding what they would like to drink, eat, wear and when they want to use the bathroom. 

Complex Care Manager, Becci Buck, said:

"A part of looking after vulnerable people is ensuring they do not lose their dignity and to empower them to live the life they want to, not what works best for you as the carer.  One of the ways of ensuring this is by giving the individual choice.  Choice in what they want to wear, eat, how they wish to be cared for and so on.

 "It covers all aspects of their daily life and should never be ignored.  One of the ways I ensure this is maintained is by treating others how I wish to be treated or how I would want one of my loved ones to be looked after.  This ensures there is a continuous approach to all that we look after."

Thanks to Bristol Complex Care. 

Find out more about our clinical training, here.