Our main aim is to increase the quality of life and happiness of each individual we support, our dedicated team do this in a lot of ways, and one is by working to improve the health and well-being of the people we support as best we can. STOMP stands for the stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both with psychotropic medicines is a national project involving many different organisations, we are one of them.
*Millie, a person we support in Swansea, who also has down’s syndrome and mild learning difficulties had challenging behaviour. Challenging behaviour in many cases is a way for people with learning disabilities and/or autism to communicate how they feel, what they want or to control what is going on around them. Over medication can often intensify these behaviours which is difficult for carers, support workers and individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism.
*Millie who made our service her home in 2013, was very unsociable and would not leave the house. She was unwilling to try new things and was quite withdrawn despite efforts from her support workers to encourage her. Her support workers found it difficult to have a conversation with *Millie. She would say unkind things and found it tough communicating how she felt, “She seemed so clouded”, her support worker explained. *Millie’s challenging behaviours only worsened with her behaviour team finding themselves using her PRN medication, Lorazopan, more frequently than they would like. The team began to evaluate her care plan and advocated for a change in her medication.
Following discussions with *Millie, her behaviour team and her key worker, *Millie’s support and care plan were reviewed. *Millie is now on a different mix of medication. Her support workers have seen tremendous changes in behaviour, “She’s much more vocal now, she’ll ask about your day and if you’d like a cup of tea/coffee. *Millie also helps around the house as well”. The team had a ‘can do’ approach to a challenging situation, they took the time to understand *Millie and to fully support her, in living her life to the full.
*Millie is now better at advocating for herself and “feels happier and has a better life now”, she even went to Benidorm in October for her birthday for the 2nd time, swapping the grey skies of Swansea for warmth in Spain.
Walsingham Support is committed to STOMP and increasing the quality of life and happiness of every person we support. We look forward to hearing more about what *Millie gets up to in 2020!
*person has been anonymised.