Nash & Co have recently invested in a portable hearing loop. We have bought it so that if clients have difficulty hearing, then we can assist. We want people with disabilities to feel comfortable with us, that we are prepared to assist them, so that they can hear us and with full information, we can listen to what they want to happen.
When we had our new reception done a few months ago, we also changed the small step immediately in front of our new door, so it is now a ramp. Lots of adjustments don’t have a negative impact on able bodied people but can make a huge difference to those living with disabilities.
When I talk to clients or the relatives and carers of clients with disabilities, I see them as people first, they are not their health issue. I make sure that when they give me instructions about an issue, that I treat them as that – a person, not just a disabled person.
I recently had a client cry in front of me, he is a carer for his parent and wanted to “hold it together”. I explained that he was more likely to make himself ill from not engaging with his emotions and bottling them up, than from crying, as I handed him a box of tissues. I reassured him that he never had to feel that he needed to apologise for crying in front of me. I have seen many clients cry. I aim to make a safe space for them to be able to be themselves. In that space, I can learn about them, their perception of what the main issue is and as a result help them to achieve the outcome that they want, once I know about them.
Life as a carer is tough, 85% of carers of someone with a dementia has a clinical depression within a year of diagnosis*. It can force both the cared for and carer to cross boundaries that they hoped they would never have to, such as helping someone go to the loo or shower.
Some adjustments are easy and being kind and compassionate is one of them. It is also important to be non-judgmental, a few bad decisions or some bad luck and many of us could find ourselves with an injury or illness.
We need to create a world in which we would want to live, if we had an illness or disability, with compassion and the simple physical adjustments that make life easier, such as the ramp on the front of the Nash building and our portable hearing loop.
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