Unique: A Rant on the Demise of Individualized Care #AtoZChallenge

Hi everyone. Today for my letter U post in the #AtoZChallenge, I want to rant really. I am not feeling well and really feel like, as an individual with developmental disabilities, my unique needs are missed in favor of what “everyone” or “the group” needs.

Back in like 2009, on my first WordPress blog, I already wrote a blog post criticizing care profiles for their doing away with individualized care. After all, care was now grouped into “care heaviness packages” (the old word for care profiles) based solely on one’s primary disability and one’s score on a rating scale, rather than there being different care classifications for each different sort of care (eg. support, personal care, housekeeping, etc.).

This is not what I want to talk about in this post though. Rather, I want to talk about the individual’s care needs being shoved under the carpet because they do not align with what that particular home is used to providing in general. And, in the case of my current home, it isn’t like there aren’t exceptions.

I cannot go into detail without breaching confidentiality – although really the staff shouldn’t have told me confidential information about other clients, truthfully. However, my home consists of “the group”, which are six clients or six clients plus me, and then there’s either me or I’m part of “the group” depending on whom you ask and when, and then there’s a client who gets full-time one-on-one. The one-on-one client is exempt from almost everything “everyone” needs to deal with, such as temp workers, regular switches in staff, of course alone time, etc. I don’t know all the reasons behind this and even if I did, I wouldn’t be allowed to disclose them here, but I frequently find myself being jealous of this client because her needs seem to take precedence over everyone else’s.

Then when competing for having our needs met, it’s me against “the group”. The home employs an extra full-time staff member to do my one-on-one even though I don’t qualify for full-time one-on-one, so I figured this should be a no-brainer: we all get our needs met, since I’d get my one-on-one and then there’s still even some hours when there’s an extra staff for “the group”. “The group” should be in luck! Well, no such thing: I am in luck if I get my one-on-one according to my day schedule and even then staff complain that I ask for too much if I ever so much as dare leave my room once during my time without support.

As for the temp workers, well, my needs get met last, because “the group” needs at least one regular staff and even if there are three regular staff members on shift, usually the fourth will be sent to support me so that the second won’t have to explain too much to number three.

In another situation, too, my individual needs get shoved under the carpet in favor of what “everyone” needs, ie. when I’m treated harshly for having a meltdown. I often hear staff say that they’d treat my fellow clients the exact same they treat me. Well, it may be so, but I’m not my fellow clients. I am me and I have my own unique needs.

7 thoughts on “Unique: A Rant on the Demise of Individualized Care #AtoZChallenge

  1. I’m not familiar with the system of care in your specific environment, but this one-size-fits-all approach exists world wide and is super frustrating. We have somehow lost the ability to value uniqueness in our modern, commercialised-to-the-gills world. Stopping by from the A-Z. All the very best.

    Liked by 1 person

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