Learning Disabilities Week 2020

Gentleman with a stay home stay safe sign

This week marks Learning Disabilities week and we’ve been asking our Learning Disability services a few questions to find out what it’s like for them through this period of lockdown:

What impact is lockdown having on the clients?

An emerging theme is that lockdown has had a surprisingly positive effect! Not having the need to get up so early in the morning for transport and taking each day at a slower pace has led to residents being calmer and more relaxed.

One of the most difficult aspects is limited contact with family and friends and in particular, the physical contact that is so important for service users with PMLD.

For clients living in their own tenancies and who live more independently, understanding the restrictions of lockdown has been more difficult to understand. Trips to the cinema and the shops are definitely missed!

What activities are happening?

The theme of this year’s Learning Disability Week is “My Environment – my place, my planet”. While the current restrictions have curbed some planned outdoor activities, like Threshold Support Services “Communi-tea” party, these haven’t stopped the creative adaptation of the plans to become an “Activi-tea” party indoors.  Residents baked crispy cakes and empire biscuits and made colourful signs promoting the current Scottish Government guidelines to ‘stay home, stay safe’.

Clients at Eskmills have been baking healthy food and snacks, making their own t-shirts to mark the Clap for Carers initiative and jamming in music sessions.

At The Bungalow, residents have been gardening and relaxing on the patio, as well as making some colourful cakes to recognise Mental Health Awareness Week and support the CrossReach Virtual Grey Cake initiative.

How are these activities helping to supporting service users’ mental health?

Whilst the days are moving at a more relaxed pace, keeping to a routine and keeping busy has been important in promoting good mental health. Making sure that there is an equal balance between group activities and time apart has been key, as is having access to outdoor spaces, so that clients can exercise in line with Scottish Government guidelines and enjoy the sun and the sound of the birds.

Overall, morale is high and the clients and staff are enjoying time together.

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