Working / not working

Helen is 43 years old lady who has lived her entire life in institutions. She needs support in all daily routines, also she communicates mostly non-verbally and so if she is unhappy with something she can only do this through her behaviour which people may find challenging.
People who provide support for Helen have put together list of important to Helen and important for Helen and items were sorted into two groups: What is working in Helen‘s current life situation and what does not work?


The institution where Helen lives feels it is s not possible to solve some very important items, which do not work in Helen‘s life e.g. the institutional care.

Due to the serious health problems Helen needs special diet, but at the same time she loves sweet food, real desserts and seeing other people in the institution to eat it makes her very angry.
Another big problem is changing shifts in the institution, because some staff members are afraid of Helen they will not accompany walking outside.

There is also long term problem with communication between staff and Helen – some staff members are not using special communication tools, which Helen need for communication.
Inability to solve problems results into Helen‘s challenging behaviour, which results into psychiatric medication even deteriorates Helen's health.

The clearer understanding, from sorting Working and Not working from Helens perspective as well as the staff’s perspective, resulted in a decision to help Helen find better service elsewhere – to leave the institution and find a home where she can be supported in a way which is able to respond to the things which are important to her.