There is no such thing as ‘typical Autism’ – everyone with symptoms on the Autistic Spectrum is unique and will have different types and levels of need. This can make choosing a specialist Autism care home a difficult task – how do you find one that is suited to that individual, which will meet their needs whilst helping to maintain their independence and character?
The level of Autism care required varies from person to person. Of course, many people with Autism don’t need to live in a care home at all – they are perfectly capable of living independently in their own home. But if a person requires the support that can only be provided by a care home, their loved ones will be faced with the task of finding the right care home environment for them.
There are several different types of care home. These include: immediate care facilities (ICFs) which offer 24-hour care by doctors and nurses, and services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and nutritional therapy. ICFs are designed for people who cannot care for themselves. Then there are Supervised Community Residences, which are homes that provide life-skill courses and training (things like job skills and interpersonal communication) with a view to the resident ultimately becoming able to live independently.
In order to choose which type of care home is right for your loved one, first they will need an assessment from a social worker who can determine their level of need and what support will be necessary.
Armed with that knowledge, you can shop around for care homes that have the services that meet the needs of your loved ones. A prime consideration is geographical location, since you won’t want a care home that is so far away that no-one can visit your loved one. Check whether the care home has set visiting hours or whether they will let you visit any time. Ask if they will adapt to your loved one’s needs or if they would expect your loved one to adapt to their routine (e.g. will they cater for special diets or preferences; do they expect residents to be asleep at a particular time and so on).
Every care home must have an inspection report (prepared by the Care Quality Commission) and you should read it. But nothing can be better than actually visiting the setting to get a feel for how it runs. You can arrange an appointment, or you could drop in unannounced so that you can see how the setting is run when they are not expecting visitors.
If you are finding it hard to provide for your loved one’s needs, the services and treatments offered by care homes for autistic people offer a good alternative to caring for a person in their own home. A care home will ensure that your loved one receives not only medical treatment but also social interaction and support that may otherwise be lacking or hard to put in place at home. Do your research carefully to find the right care home and you and your loved one will be sure to be well cared-for.
For more information please see Barchester.com.