This morning is the first chance in a while I have had to write my blog as over the last few weeks it has been a very busy time here at Southampton Sight. As well as getting ready for our Christmas festivities we have been doing our usual jobs and been coping with no heating and building works!

Sonia, Angela and I visited a care home yesterday that is primarily for adults with learning difficulties and associated complex needs for the second time. Those of you who read my blog regularly will ask why did we visit this care facility?  We were contacted by the care home because they wanted advice and training as they were going to have a new resident move in who is blind.

We visited two weeks ago and gave half of the staff our first session of sight loss awareness training while the residents were out.  Because the care home was forward thinking and wanted information and help before their newest service user had moved in we were able to tailor the session to their requirements, this allowed us to focus on specific areas.  An example of this is they were concerned how the individual would navigate the stairs safely, so I willingly volunteered to demonstrate how I use my cane when I am walking up and down stairs.  As well as this I showed them the correct way to sighted guide someone who has sight loss.  Understandably they had worries about how to do this with someone who has sight issues as well as learning difficulties.

After returning to the office all three of us agreed that after delivering a more specialist sight loss awareness session we would be very happy to do this again in the future.  For me, I found this type of training more enjoyable as it meant that I could speak about the needs of the young gentleman even though I hadn’t met him yet.

When we visited yesterday we also presented the same training session again to the remainder of the staff and the new resident also sat in on the training.  Now he is living at the home they have had some time to get to know him and put into practise what we taught them previously and adapt what they now know to his specific needs.  For example, when we attended the first time we weren’t sure if he had some sight but since he has lived at this house they have discovered that they think he is completely blind.

Once we had delivered the session with the staff and the other residents had returned from a short outing we also spoke to them about what their fellow service user may need them to be aware of. An example of this is demonstrating a talking keyring clock to them so that if they hear this in the future they don’t need to worry about the sound and also if they drop things or spill a drink they need to pick it up or tell a member of staff immediately so that nobody trips slips or falls over.

Visiting this care home and delivering training to staff and the residents like we did enabled us to give an all rounded experience for staff and fellow service users alike.  By doing this we were able to work with everybody who would live and work with the individual who is living with sight loss.  Here at Southampton Sight we believe that this is the best way to deliver training because we are helping everybody around sight loss to learn the best practises, therefore everyone who is involved with individuals who have sight loss including carers, family members and friends are all aware of how to best help people living with sight loss.

I look forward to doing more of this type of training in the future.

This will be my last blog until January 2019 so have a wonderful Christmas and let’s look forward to a productive and positive 2019.

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