Mrs Ahmed You are a support worker for Mrs Ahmed who is 89, physically frail and lives alone. She has diabetes. Mrs Ahmed wants to eat foods that are not suitable for her medical condition, and asks you to shop for her as she is not able to get to the shop herself. Bi Describe the difficulties for you in exercising your duty of care and upholding Mrs Ahmed’s right to choose.
Firstly check the notes and guidance in mrs ahmeds care plan, contact the care co-ordinator and explain mrs ahmeds choices are not suitable for her dietary requirements and may also not be suitable for her religious beliefs either. Discuss the best way to approach mrs ahmed about her choices. Advise mrs ahmed that what she has selected could potentially be detrimental to her health rather than nutritious or beneficial, give her alternative choices, explain the risks and also the benefits of making the alternative choice. But allow mrs ahmed the final decision. She has capacity and therefore is entitled to consume which food she chooses.
Bii Where could you go to get advice, information and support to deal with the dilemma?
I would first seek information from mrs ahmeds care plan, then contact my co-ordinator or the co-ordinator directly related to mrs ahmed, and finally friends and family. It may be such that mrs ahmed has always had a box of quality street on a Tuesday and the family are aware, or it may be something new and that she just fancies a change. The most important thing is, if you don’t know ask, and you will never know unless you seek advice and information from those closest to her who knows her habits and her preferances. At the extreme if no such external advice is available at that point in time you contact the gp surgery and ask for advice, explain the situation, and potentially a practise nurse can come with information for mrs ahmed to read and help reevaluate her choices if necessary. It is your duty of care to respect your service users choice and aid them in making an informed decision on their own wellbeing where possible.
Leon Quashie lives in supported housing. He has learning disabilities. You are his support worker. Leon tells you that he has a new friend who comes to his home and plays on his games console. A few days later you notice that the games console is missing. Leon tells you his new friend has borrowed it. Biii Describe the difficulties for you in exercising your duty of care to Leon and upholding his rights.
You need to ascertain whether leon has permitted or offered his console to his friend to borrow it. If this is the case obtain permission from leon to contact his friend to see when it is expected back. I would tell leon it is lovely he has a friend but wouldn’t it be nicer for his friend to use leons console at leons house to play together. I don’t want to see leon being exploited which is why I would ask permission to contact the friend and ask when the console would be returned so as to give the friend the benefit of the doubt but also to reassure leon its in safe hands and that I am looking after his best interests.
Leon is free to choose who he wants as his friends and lend what he wants, but as he has learning difficulties it would be easy for leon to be exploited by certain individuals and therefore his ‘friend’ needs to be aware that leons support worker is aware of the situation and will pursue him if it isn’t returned. If however leon feels like he has been coerced into lending the console, I would again try to make contact with the friend and also explain the potential that it may not be returned to leon, and if such an event arose would it be permissible by me to contact the police on leons behalf. This is a very tricky situation, as you don’t want to upset leon by potentially judging his friend, as it may be leons only friend and he may be just trying to please him to keep him as a friend. I would reassure leon.
Biv Where could you go to get advice and support on how to ensure you uphold Leon’s rights but also follow your own duty of care? I would contact my co-ordinator, the manager of the supported living to see if this ‘friend’ has a history of befriending people living in the facility, leons social worker and potentially the police.
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