Sue has always been asked the question “what would you like for breakfast?” and invariably the answer came back “porridge”. Then one morning I watched the staff ask the question and Sue promptly replied “porridge”, but was obviously looking at Dave’s bowl of cornflakes. The staff member observed this and went off to the kitchen to reappear with the porridge and the cornflakes and put both in front of Sue. She then asked the question “which would you like for breakfast?” and with a huge beam on her face Sue chose cornflakes.
A few minutes later Sue had a bowl, milk, sugar and was being prompted to make her own breakfast. Sue had the loveliest smile on her face throughout but what made her really chuckle was the fact that she finished off all the milk. “There’s none left for you” she told the member of staff.
It is so easy to assume that you are using good verbal skills and supporting someone to make a choice when really the person is giving you an answer out of habit or routine.
Now Sue makes informed choices every day, choosing from 3 items – she still often asks for porridge but now we know it’s a real choice and not just routine.
Head of Service