We all love to be out in the garden to sit and relax. This was something Suzie loved doing but had times where she would display behaviours of concern whilst under the last care provider as the approach to supporting her was very different. This would usually result in Suzie not being able to stay in the garden.
When MacIntyre took over the provision there were many areas of the support that needed looking at, but we knew that working to MacIntyre’s DNA would ensure that Suzie flourished.
Staff used pictures and sign to communicate with Suzie to find out what she wanted in her garden. We also asked her parents if they had any suggestions. Suzie’s parents were so happy; not only were we supporting Suzie in an activity she enjoys and making her garden something for her to enjoy again, but they were able to get involved and be supportive; whereas previously they felt they had been isolated in decisions with most aspects of Suzie’s life. This is something we as a staff team are building on daily; to be really inclusive and for all staff and family to work together.
Staff supported Suzie to identify and search for all the plants she liked, the best location to purchase them from (this would be a quiet place where staff would be helpful and nobody was rushed) and the best time to go there. This would ensure Suzie got the very best out of the experience.
The day came the sun was shining and off we went. Suzie was smiling and picking her flowers, when she spied… vegetable plants! Suzie started signing that she also wanted a veg patch! We were all overwhelmed at what a difference there was in Suzie on this shopping trip. She had gone from not liking going into shops to wanting to stay that bit longer: how wonderful!
The success of this whole experience was the way staff facilitated the planning and the wonderful Great Interactions on the day – this all resulted in Suzie being extremely happy and proud with a trolley full of plants and vegetables.
Suzie couldn’t wait to get home to start work. Staff supported and together they planted all the flowers and created a vegetable patch over one weekend. Suzie was settled and enjoyed digging in the mud mainly, but gosh she was happy.
Now Suzie waters her plants every morning and night and loves being out in her garden; a space she has chosen and made special.
*The name of the person in this blog has been changed