We are always working with parties who want to expand their knowledge base. We hope via sharing our experience we can help you add to your knowledge base, which you may use immediately with a client or file for later reference.
For most people, our field of work falls somewhere on the spectrum of knowledge and experience starting with expert through to generalist. At CleanAbilities within the NDIS alone, we would have assisted well in-excess of 300 participants who struggle with hoarding and squalor.
Today, in this note, we want to share with you 3 issues that create experience surprises.
We hope by doing this, it improves everyone’s awareness of the those who live with Hoarding or Squalor in their life. Sadly an issue faced by between 3-5% of all Australians and 7-10% of all people over the age of 55
1. Situational Surprise – The Systemic Gap and NDIS Onboarding
- Does a person applying to the NDIS have it recorded that they struggle to live in a healthy environment or that their home environment is safe to receive external services?
- Does a new participant, prior to having a plan produced have anyone visit their home to consider how services may be delivered?
- There are two contexts to this answer – Money and People.
Commercially the NDIS is officially looking to reduce costs it would be a large cost burden to visit each new participants home prior to issuing an NDIS plan.
Personally, those who struggle with Hoarding and Squalor are embarrassed and ashamed about their living condition, asking for help is extremely challenging and unlikely to acknowledge this particular problem.
The challenge for those who support these participants who fall into the above description is providing evidence of the environment and incorporating the state into a plan so that the full extent of required services are understood, documented and supported.
Each week we enter properties to get to know the participants needs and wants, and we see home environments that are unsafe and unhealthy. A number of those have fallen through the GAPS.
2. Delivery Surprise – Complexity Experience GAP – Completing tasks when working with people who struggle with Anxiety
- How comfortable are people working with strangers in their home?
It is rare that people are comfortable, anxiety is typically high. Anxiety impacts a person’s ability to make decisions. When remediating a property that has hoarding and squalor issues we need to consider how dependant the process is on the engagement with the participant. Can we just clean, what about the hoarded items that may have contributed to the squalor?
We encourage participants to who struggle with a home that has hoarding involved to break down the project across days. This compartmentalises the process, builds familiarity and comfort, making the process more effective. If a client and their support coordinator needs the project delivered quickly, we support that approach, however we do not recommend it.
We recommend working with the participant at their pace. Like undertaking any form of exercise, we want to warm up. That involves a meeting and a first contained session. In this way we have clear experience and a budget expectation.
3. Participant Surprise – Participant Information GAPS – Transitioning of a client from different support coordinators or within a support coordination company.
When a provider receives a request to support a participant we appreciate that a change in supports means that something is not, or has not worked, or a change is needed for another reason.
We are often invited to work with participants who are new to the support coordinator. This may be a learning process with the participant for everyone. Understanding the circumstances means that no assumptions are made and we can build our experience and knowledge base together.
When a participant has a new support coordinator with the same coordination business is where we tend to see GAPS that are unexpected.
The handover was not completed fully at the time the primary Support Coordinator left. The logic and program for the participant was documented to a degree, but missing, non-documented information critical to engaging with a client was missing.
For example, “How comfortable are people working with strangers in their home?”, what have the prior experiences been? Does the participant want support but overestimates their own ability to handle the process? Has there been an experience that a new provider should know about?
We have had experiences where no notes have been taken or shared and participants have changed their mind and attendance is either no longer needed and we attend or we attend and the participant expects a different outcome.
When we deal in a process that revolves around trust, it is immediately challenged and anxiety levels for the participant are immediately elevated.
Critically our experience has highlighted the need to manage risks by developing an intake form. It doesn’t eliminate risks, but it does help!
Thank you for your reading, a lot of our followers boost us with ongoing support and helping us manage our process and delivering a great experience for participants.