Dignity Action Day: Communicating effectively by Debbie Cole

Debbie Cole works for a Community Support Service supporting people who live independently. Here she tells us why communicating effectively is key to providing Dignity in Care.

Finding ways to make sure we communicate effectively and imaginatively is one thing which we think is extremely important. This involves ensuring people have the information they need about everything that affects them, whether it is related to their home, their health or their community.

To do this we research accessible information and keep a resource folder of what we find, which we constantly add to and update. To help people understand the information we often design it in a way that suits the individual.

We keep a Dignity Evidence Log which is a way of recording every time we support someone to understand information about themselves or their lives. This log shows evidence and examples of what information we have given. It reminds us to make sure that we are trying as many different ways as possible to use accessible information and help people to feel equal and included in their community.

We have also created a Personalisation Folder containing resources that are personal to individuals and have been made or chosen by them, such as a personalised shopping, or a personal risk assessment. We encourage people to think about their own health and safety and design their own risk assessments, so that they take responsibility for how they choose to live their lives. We want people to understand that taking a risk can sometime affect others and that they need to be respectful of that.

Why not share your stories, just email them to Dignityincare@scie.org.uk.