One of the things we have been involved in this year (2022) is work to understand the needs and perceptions of adults in care homes, independent living arrangements and people who use day centres. This work has been about engaging with people directly involved, and also their family and friends and support services staff. We needed to understand their thoughts and experiences about the opportunities they have, to make decisions and to pursue activities of their own choosing.
Working with partners we have developed and applied methods for '360 degree listening'. Because the focus of this work is on older people in residential homes and others with learning disabilities who live independently, we needed to make sure these groups would find it as easy as possible to take part.
Small groups of the people care homes, independent living or using day centres were asked to help with the design. The ideas were talked about and we shared our prototype presentation. We were told that the first and foremost way to communicate was the spoken word. "... listening it's what we do all the time " was typical of what many of them said. They also felt that simple drawings, symbols or illustrations could help. Some people thought the would like individual help answering the questions
We also wanted to capture information from a wider support group. We talked with social work professionals, family members and other support staff, and recognised that there were many peoples who would be able to provide insights. Someone said "Different people see different things and people can see the same thing differently".
We put it into practice and over a period of about 6 months surveys were completed about care homes, day centres and independent living. For each it was necessary to design questionnaires for the people who were the main focus and also for family and friends, staff, and for some survey professionals as well. We were able to agree the questions and create speech capability and symbols for each of the surveys. Surveys were sequential allowing learning from each so that by end we evolved an effective method and were able to produce resources and a series of templates that can be used in further surveys.
As with all the surveys we support, user driven methods are in place for communicating with all interested parties and so that progress can be monitored throughout the collection process. As soon as the survey is completed the different strands of data are collected in a series of reports and spreadsheets, which can be downloaded