What We Do
- Find and arrange accommodation where it is needed;
- Support and work with individuals who are in transition;
- Agree a complete care plan for each person using our services;
- Support customers with tenancy, benefits and utility issues.
We currently care for and support more than 65 people in a supported living environment. Our main goal is for people to become as independent as they can and to be able to care for them in an effective as soon as possible.
Often people come to us who have lived in residential homes, or with their parents, or are in ‘Transition’ from younger person services, college etc. and feel ready to do more for themselves.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the care we provide is teaching people how to wash and dress themselves, cook and plan meals and do basic chores. It is so exciting seeing people develop and do things they never thought possible.
Many people with learning disabilities have difficulties reading and writing but it is still very important, as part of their steps towards greater independence, for them to learn how to manage their money. We take a little-by-little approach as, especially if they are a first-time tenant, managing finance can be daunting. But we think it is important to take as much time as necessary to help people understand their benefit payments and bills and how to manage their bank account.
We also help with exercising and make sure every person has their plan and different activities scheduled into their week like swimming.
Learning to plan meals and then shop for the ingredients is also part of the weekly routine. We like to promote a family atmosphere and tenants living together have great fun sharing the cooking, serving the food and clearing up afterwards.
Finding rewarding work is also important and we have excellent partnerships with a number of organisations such as Green Patch in Kettering.
We also help people to take their medicine, which often means a gentle reminder, and make sure they have access to any healthcare they need.
How we do it
- Person Centred; Support Plans, Risk Assessments, Health Action Plans.
- 1-1s that are used to achieve life goals, develop life skills and complete everyday tasks.
- Homely settings, maintained throughout the year to ensure a safe, happy home.
- Consistent staff teams with low staff turn around, helping to create consistent, excellent care.
Our staff provide up to 24-hour support that is tailored to individual needs. Through ‘person centred’ plans, tenants can express choices and preferences about their needs and be fully involved in every decision about their life.
How We Work With You
Avens work in partnership with East Sussex County Council and Northamptonshire County Council for all our contracts to ensure that we are able to best meet the needs of anyone we support. Before someone moves into their new home with Avens, there will be meetings, assessments and a number of tea visits to ensure that everyone involved in the process is happy with what Avens can offer, including both the homes and support offered.
Avens have in the past taken on emergency placements and worked with the individual and any professionals involved to ensure the individual is settled in as soon as possible.
We understand that moving can be a very stressful time in anyone’s life, and meeting new people like staff and fellow residents and tenants can cause some anxiety. The registered managers and senior staff are there every step of the way, from the initial meetings and showcasing the available homes and rooms to overnight stays, to ensure that any anxiety is addressed. This may be done with a matter-of-fact discussion or it might be done over time, depending on the individual’s needs.
No one placement process is the same as another, as we respect everyone’s right to their preferences and act on this accordingly. Someone might want to bite the bullet and move in right away, some would rather stretch the process out over months and then decide it’s not for them. However, below you will find a general outline of what we endeavour to accomplish during the placement process to ensure all boxes are ticked and everyone is cared for and content.
A Care Manager will make contact with the manager of the registered location they are interested in placing their client with. A discussion will be had about whether there is an appropriate placement for the individual depending on location, whether they are suitable living with others of the same or different gender, what their needs are currently and whether their needs are likely to change in the future.
If Avens is currently unable to meet the needs of someone, we will quickly look into what we can do to change that. An example of this is in 2015, when our residential care home was contacted and they were asked if they had access to a hoist and staff with hoist training. At the time we had neither in this particular location, however within 48 hours a hoist had been acquired and the entire staff team received the appropriate training and been signed off. That individual was then placed within the care home and is still happily living there to this day.
Pre Placement Assessment
If we are able to tick all the boxes that the assigned Care Manager has, the managers will ask to come out and meet the individual in question for a pre placement assessment. This gives the individual a chance to meet the managers and give us a chance to get to know them. This can be done in their current home, at their day centre or even out in the community. It may be that the care manager, family and/ or friends are present as well, which will only help us to get a better insight into the individual and see what we can do for them.
If, after a successful pre placement assessment, the individual is still interested in receiving support from Avens, we would invite them and any family or friends to visit their potential new home. A Care Manager may come out to the property beforehand to ensure that it is appropriate, as we don’t want anyone falling in love with some place where they can’t move into or going somewhere that isn’t suitable and causing undue stress. At this time, we would ensure that a senior member of staff is present as well as a manager.
1-1 Hours Agreed, Funding Forwarded
Based on the pre placement assessment and what the individual is currently receiving, Avens would request a certain amount of 1-1 hours and factor this into the costings of the package. Avens might request additional 1-1 funding for the first 6 weeks to help with the transition plan.
Funding Agreed, Tea Visits
Once funding has been agreed at panel, Avens would suggest a “transition plan” which would involve the individual visiting the location up until the move in date, so as to make them more familiar with their new surroundings and new routines without completely overloading them with all the new change. Tea visits may become over night stays. Only senior staff who the individual has been introduced to and they are happy with will be on duty, and a manager may be present at this point.
Moving In: It’s Just the Beginning, Never the End
Avens will support the individual to ensure that they are happy and comfortable in their new home and feel able to say otherwise if need be. The consistent staff team will work together and with the individual to identify short term and long term goals, if these have not been carried over from previous care plans or assessments, to make the most out of their time while being supported with Avens. From there, we have frequent internal reviews with all our customers including yearly reviews with family and care management to ensure that their needs are still being met. Avens has in the past supported new customers to have mental capacity assessments completed to give them control of their finances and life choices or referred them to independent advocates if that is what is required.
Best practice for all
As a business, we have been embracing all the recommended procedures for preventing infection with Covid-19, for example:
We check both service users and staff temperatures on a daily basis;
We have kept our hygiene protocols and policies and procedures relating to Covid-19 up to date. We are confident that these will help prevent the spread of all ailments, even minor coughs and colds;
Anyone who experiences any symptoms, is requested to immediately report any signs of illness, however minor, so that we can minimise any risk of spread;
Any member of staff who has travelled abroad recently, been in contact with an infected person or attended any large gatherings of people, is requested to inform their manager who will take appropriate steps to manage and minimise the risk posed to others;
Should we experience sickness absences of any kind, we reassign staff to provide uninterrupted services;
Our stores are well stocked, and we are being vigilant in keeping levels off PPE appropriately high so that we can continue to provide all our services as planned and maintain the strictest hygiene practices;
We continue to keep up to date with all the latest advice from Government and health services which can be found on the GOV.UK and Public Health England websites.