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Perceptions of health, disability, illness and behaviour

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Social Work
Wordcount: 3021 words Published: 13th Mar 2017

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How health and social care users relate to the concepts of impairment and challenging behaviours

Users of health and social care are usually in need of social care depending on the nature and intensity of their illness. Disabled individuals like Mr. Holland Park are why the importance of the underlying relationships between health, disability and illnesses must be understood and further develop strategies that will ensure better quality of life for him and other users alike. Severe medical conditions can result in limited access to proper healthcare; even as many in the general public have the misconception about how healthcare is received by individuals with disabilities. Recent laws and policies by the government like the Disability Discrimination Act, which covers all community health care services and hospitals compels service providers to make specific adjustments to healthcare practices, and also to ascertain the practicality of these adjustments is directed towards users with specific needs as is the case with Mr. Holland Park.

Impact of past and present policies and legislations on available healthcare services

Mr. Holland Park is currently a member of a family that cares for him for very much hence it is typical for other members of his family to worry about his wellbeing in any care home he lives in.

In the past, legislations and social policies are developed in general terms that encompasses every health and social sector with policies affecting the general public and everyone residing within the United Kingdom. However, changes that been made over the years to suit specific aspects of the community, and precise laws are developed and others redefined to guarantee that every individual regardless of their medical condition, race, social class, religion or ethnicity receives the best care available.

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Mr. Holland Park is over a certain age and may be worried about being subjected to any kind of abuse or neglect due to his health. This is because the society may sometimes be unwelcoming to behaviours exhibited by individuals with certain illness, as some exhibit behaviours that may view as strange and unusual. This is why the legislations are defined in such a way that people, especially workers of care homes must abandon the general negative perceptions about disabled users, and commit only to the provision of suitable and adequate health care services to such individuals.

The family of Mr. Holland Park will have nothing to worry about as every kind of misconception about any kind of illness will be overlooked and the best care made available for him in this care home or whichever one as the policies are well monitored and regular unannounced checks are done to certify adherence to these legislations.

The promotion and protection of disability rights has been improved majorly in the United Kingdom, making the United Kingdom a pioneer in liaison of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Policies and Legislation in recent years

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA 1995), it is a violation of law to discriminate against disabled people in areas of including provision of services, employment, goods or facilities. Hence making it an obligation for service providers to ensure sensible modifications are made to engage disabled individuals in using their services. Consequent modifications were made via derivative legislations like Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations 2003 through principal legislation like the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001. These acts made provision for a Disability Equality Duty making it a responsibility for public authorities to take passive roles in the promotion of fairness in treatment of disabled people.

The Human Rights Act 1998 calls for the need for every public authority to operate in a way which is attuned with the rights put in place in the European Convention on Human Rights. Should public authorities fall short, affected individuals and their families are permitted to seek a judicial remedy. Public authorities include central social and health care homes, National Health Service (NHS) and their trusts, Government, and most providers of public services.

In recent times, there is a more direct approach to the UK anti-discrimination legislation via the Equality Act 2010 which annulled and replaced the DDA in Great Britain alone. This Act not only encompasses the protection of disabled individuals from any kind of segregation, but also applied modifications to certain responsibilities of the public authorities regarding the participation of disabled individuals in policy decisions.

The Equality 2025 was created in 2006 as a government has a themed goal ‘Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’ with a year 2025 target for disabled individual living in Britain to the treated as equal members of the society and have full access to develop their quality of life. It is particularly designed to assist disabled people attain independent living by moving gradually towards individual budgets that will bring together various services they will be entitled to and giving them various choices over diverse support from either direct provision of services and/or money.


Available care needs for Mr. Holland Park

Mr. Holland Park being an elderly man in the early stages of dementia and additional visual and hearing disabilities means he will be needing special attention as his behaviours might sometimes be queer, and at other serious times sporadic and violent. The care home will be focused on providing assistance that will uphold his independence and therefore enable his stability whilst receiving dependable services that will suit his individual needs.

Provision of audio-visual equipment will assist Mr. Holland Park to make the best of his little sight. This will be after a proper assessment has been carried out by professionals to determine the seriousness of his blindness. As he is also hearing impaired, it will be best to make sure that he moves around the care home safely by having rotational care staff check on his whereabouts on a regular basis and a log kept to this effect. Also, he will need to participate in regular activities to keep him in good spirit.

Being partially deaf-blind can be challenging for Mr. Holland Park as he may sometimes feel less capable, it is the duty of our care home to ensure that he feels less challenged by engaging him in peer group activities that involves other service users. This way, he feels more active and energetic and he can take his mind off any heavy thought of being a burden to others.

The most important factor to providing the best care services to Mr. Holland Park is that the care staffs will never regard his challenging behaviours as a form of challenge, but will work towards providing him with a comfortable lifestyle by ensuring his hygiene is well taken care of. Also, his laundry will be done for him and meals and drinks will be prepared as he wants it on a timely basis and he will have a variety of menu of choose from. Should he be entitled to any benefits, we will make it our duty to assist him in claiming these benefits for him and the family and provide any necessary references or letters to state that he is under our care.

Available local services to support Mr. Holland Park and his family

Disabled individuals like Mr. Holland Park with dementia care are eligible for Special Rehabilitation Services that are provided by Disability Service Teams via direct referrals from health care providers. He and his family will benefit from this service as it will help to develop his independence and quality of life.

A register for blind and partially blind are kept by the local authority, for provision of further assistance with the Eye Care Trust, and Mr. Holland Park is entitled to receive subsidised and mostly free consultation and treatment, and extra support should he choose to register.

The Alzheimer’s Society is an organisation that assists individuals with dementia (as is the case with Mr. Holland Park) and is supported by the National Health Service (NHS) and Community Care 1990, to assess his needs and provide certain services as required. His family will benefit from subsequent aids and care that will not affect their budget heavily.

Powers of Attorney

It is possible sometime in the future when Mr. Holland Park’s symptoms become very serious and he is unable to decide on his finances or medical treatment. It is best to make arrangements for this by drawing up different Lasting Powers of Attorney- the first to take care of financial decisions and the other to handle health and welfare decisions. Mr. Holland Park will need to appoint a trusted member of the family to act on his behalf should his disability get to this extent. You can find out more information about this, you can call AGE UK or Carers Direct.


Intervention strategies for Mr. Holland Park who is the early stages of dementia focuses primarily on tackling the cognitive symptoms that can lead to erratic behaviours. The effectiveness of these interventions will help to enhance his individual functioning and reduce stress, depression or agitation which is common in individuals experiencing disability.

The best therapy applied to Mr. Holland Park and other service users alike was to promote his independence and this boosted his confidence and willingness not just to survive but to live an active daily life and make the best of his body. The promotion of independence will delay or change the later stages of dementia which is usually much harder to manage. Independence in Mr. Holland Park was encouraged by engaging him in reasonable activities up to any level he can tolerate. Also, a balance of maintained for him across personal care and productive leisure, while monitoring his tolerance level.

Potential impact of emerging developments on service users with specific needs

It is critical to access the needs and strengths of service users with specific needs to determine the effectiveness of interventions implemented. The best strategies are accessed through initial stages and the environment was considered to determine the continuity and they include:

Effective communication: Communication strategies applied involved using non-verbal cues and language and sentence structure to integrate high level of individual comprehension and enhanced sensory abilities. Effective communication is essential to the provision of high value health and social care. Without it there cannot be a significant coordination amongst service users and carers. Poor communication is frequently a considerable causative reason for complaint against Health and Social Care organisations and is the basis of numerous depressing user experiences.

Involvement of individuals with challenging behaviours and their carers in the planning, delivery and monitoring of services ascertains that the care and support received meets their desires and objectives.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Skills Training: ADL involved accessing users’ abilities, impairments and task performance to understand the psychological factors inhibiting their capabilities. Skills training are carefully assessed during activities that focus on empowering users to independently carry out ADL tasks. During the programmes, users are required to complete individual tasks with minimal assistance. Minimal assistance provided include: visual gestures, facial expressions, physical direction and partial physical assistance.

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The potential impact of the development of these strategies is the provision of vital support to effective improvement in health of service users, especially disabled users. There is improved strength through empowerment of independence and mobility and increased endurance levels. Also the physical performance of the users is improved significantly. Another essential benefit of these support systems is the maintenance of functional capabilities of users with physical or communication impairments.


Concepts of challenging behaviours

The relationship that exists between challenging behaviours is mostly viewed as a disorder of some form. There is no such thing as an analytical meaning for challenging behaviour but it can be categorized in various forms including psychological disorder, learning disability, mental illness and many others. A functional disorder of some form generalises the concept of challenging behaviours but will never fully define it.

Challenging behaviour is an expressive concept, which is mainly socially created, and its definition is dependent on changes in social norms and provision of service cross geological areas. The expression itself carries no analytical meaning, and no presumption about the aetiology of the behaviour is made. Challenging behaviour may not relate to psychiatric disorder, but can also be a major or resultant symptom of it.

Challenging behaviour is a moderately objective phrase that has apparent phenomenon. However, this is not the case with most mental illnesses, many of which depends on self-report by the individual for proper analysis. The need of an established expression in individuals with challenging behaviours has caused problems concerning suitable expressions. Different terms like: ‘mental disorder’, ‘mental illness’, ‘emotional distress’ have been utilised inter-changeably e.g. ‘mental illness’.

Potential impact of challenging behaviours on health and social care organisations

Managing the potential impact of challenging behaviours does not lie on one organisation, but rather a collective responsibility of every member of the health and social care system. That is how much impact the challenging behaviours of individuals have affected the health and social sector. This is because different people exhibit various disorders at diverse stages and severity ; hence the effective reason why organisations must work much harder to ensure that every individual is well taken care of regardless of his or her disability.

Organisations have been made to build larger and more effective workforce and research on increased skills and improved knowledge have been carried out.

Cost impact

The continuing occurrence of challenging behaviours in various individuals has had its impact on cost as the weekly care ranges from over £200 to as much as £1600 depending on the severity.

In other words, the care services offer to individuals is relative to the features of the care settings and the cost implication. It will always cost more to take care of people with severe challenging behaviours and the greater levels implying that organisations will need to increase their budget on regular basis to adapt to new fiscal year. Eventually, these cost implications will mean that larger facilities must be built and the weekly expenses are likely to increase over the years.

Strategies for working with challenging behaviours

Managing challenging behaviours involves intervention strategies that must recognise and take note of individual’s past and present experiences and must also maintain a standard environment. One of the things that must be noted is that it is inappropriate to label any service user with the term ‘challenging behaviours’ as this is very derogatory and changed the perspective they are related with. Also, the mindset with which they feel about how they fit into the environment is changed should they get used to this label.

Intervention strategies

Depending on how serious the behavioural problem is, intervention strategies are in different categories:

Biological intervention: This deals with analysis of the causes of the particular behaviour. This will mostly require professional assistance in order to source and prescribe proper medication and treatment.

Social intervention: This elemental intervention involves encouraging communities to involve disabled people in social activities so as to make them feel welcomed within the society.

Counselling: This is usually an intervention suitable for individuals with moderate disability. The counselling will involve different behavioural methods like anger-management and relaxation therapy, for possible effect. There is no clear indication as to whether direct or indirect counselling methods will work with individuals that show high level of challenging behaviours like aggression.

Psychotherapy: For over 50 years, psychotherapy has been in practice as a form of management and treatment for people experiencing challenging behaviours. The effectiveness may sometimes vary depending on the level of aggression displayed by the person.

There is a surprisingly long history of psychotherapy with

Cognitive therapies: This kind of therapy is suitable for people whose behaviours are based on personal experiences. The therapist works on improving the behaviour of the individual by changing his/her insight and perception of life.



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