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What Are Day Services?

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 16 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Services Disabilities Care Learning

In recent years the Government has been taking steps to improve what is known as self-centred planning. They are trying to ensure that people with learning disabilities have much more say as to what services and support they receive.

In the past, decisions about support and provisions tended to be made by the service providers. However, it is important that people with learning disabilities are given the right to make their preferences and choices known, and for the service providers to comply with these decisions where possible. This advocacy extends to day services provided by social services.

Explaining Day Services

Day services are a provided by social services, the NHS and other voluntary organisations, and can encompass a number of activities and facilities that serve to benefit the people that attend them. Day services help people with learning disabilities receive assistance and support with carrying out everyday activities away from their own homes. It also gives them the opportunity to learn or improve upon skills and hobbies, to socialise and travel out on field trips and take part in leisure activities.

The type of assistance and day services required will depend on the individual. It is important the a person with learning disabilities is able to explain their difficulties, preferences in relation to the kind of support and assistance they want to receive, as well as outlining the goals they wish to achieve. They can do this by meeting with someone from the adult services department, who will run through these points with them and try to organise appropriate support. Sometimes this will involve an assessment to ascertain exactly what provisions need to be made.

Why Day Services Are Important

As day services often provide transport, they are vital in connecting learning disabled people with their community in a way that they might not necessarily be able to otherwise. They also improve awareness within the local community, helping to dispel misconceptions and discrimination towards learning disabled people.

This improved access to such facilities is vitally important, as without them people with learning disabilities can become isolated, lack access to overall health care and become trapped by lack of access to their wider community. Therefore, their chances of leading a more independent life can then become less possible.

Day services also help to promote independent living by linking up with colleges, work placements, community services and leisure facilities. This opens up opportunities that people with learning disabilities might otherwise miss out on. It also gives them a much wider scope to achieve their ambitions and aims, whilst feeling as though they are being listened to.

Day services are also important because they give carers and family members some respite from caring. Despite the name, day services can be available at the most appropriate times for the individual – at various times during the day or evening and throughout the week. Day services are also not confined to activities and support that takes care in day centres. The service can be provided where it is needed, whether it’s from a special residential home or at a health centre.

To find out more about day services in your area, and how they can help you or a family member, contact your local NHS trust or social services department.

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