Did you know that women with learning disabilities are least likely to attend breast screening appointments? Recently, Lorna* was supported to attend a mammogram appointment, which was vital for her health.
At MacIntyre, we promise to ensure that every person we support is supported to feel safe and healthy. This is why we take the time to support people before, through and after any appointments surrounding their health, ensuring we use a variety of ways to help them to understand.
To prepare Lorna for the appointment, Jess a member of staff at MacIntyre supported her to take a look at the ‘Breast Cancer and how to spot it’ easy read, using sign and spoken word to explain to Lorna that she would be going in the car to see a doctor, who would check her breasts during the mammogram.
Letting Jess know she understood, Lorna waved Jess away. She returned moments later armed with items (her treasures) that made her feel secure, letting Jess know she was ready to go to the appointment.
As Lorna has previously had breast cancer, resulting in a serious operation it was essential that she felt supported and safe during the appointment and understood the procedure fully.
"Lorna kept a small number of treasures in her back pocket, which she insisted on keeping. She needed something to help keep her calm in a potentially very confusing and upsetting scenario."
"I explained to the staff at the hospital that this was likely to be a highly stressful environment for her. The staff at the hospital were immediately more sympathetic, and patient with Lorna during our time there."
Throughout, Lorna was incredibly calm and focused; reassured by Jess and staff at the hospital the whole time. Although Lorna will have to return for further appointments, Jess was incredibly proud of Lorna's progress.
"I signed to Lorna just how fantastic she had been and we had a little round of applause for her!"
•Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
If you would like to find out more about how we support people with their health and wellbeing, please do get in touch.