Service provision for the disabled is a right, not a privilege. At the same time, there shouldn’t be a one size-fits-all approach to the creation of services and the options offered. Users should be free to shop around and find a provider that meets their needs as consumers, someone that understands what it is like to be disabled. With that in mind, there are three clear factors that disabled citizens are looking for in the ideal provider.
1) Trust and respect
Overall, there needs to be a strong level of trust and respect on both sides. Service users need to be able to trust and respect the knowledge and skills of those providing the care. At the same time, those providers need to be able to trust and respect the views and opinions of the user. Anybody providing support to a vulnerable person with care needs may assume that they always know best in every situation. While they may have the knowledge to help and guide users, they cannot be narrow-minded about it and shut down their views. Every disabled person is an individual after all.
This strong relationship of trust and respect cannot fully develop without a sense of reliability. A company that doesn’t perform its duties to the standard promised, or that doesn’t show up to a home on time, is unreliable, untrustworthy and not fit to be involved in care. Being late by just 10 minutes can cause stress and disrupt an important routine. Bringing a meal half an hour late may not sound like the end of the world, but it is a problem for those on a strict medication regime. Consistency is key in at-home care for peace of mind.
3) A sense of independence
The final important factor for anyone looking for a disability service provider is the idea of independence and a sense of freedom. This is again where that idea of mutual respect is so important. It s important that a service user feels that they are being listened too, where their opinion matters, and are treated as an individual. Routine is important, but it shouldn’t be too rigid where there is room for spontaneity and flexibility. This means listening to users when it comes to activities, meal options and other preferences. If a service can provide this communication and empowerment with a reliable, respectful service, they will tick all the right boxes.