Alistair who is 17, is severely disabled and profoundly deaf. He has complex health care needs including gastrostomy tube feeding, regular medication and occasional suction and oxygen. Because of his needs, any form of short term break must be well organised and requires carers to have skills and training on his health needs and his communication system. The difficulty of finding groups of people who have these specific skills, and that are working within an establishment that Alistair can visit, has led to his family using direct payments. They consider that whilst there are positives and negatives to Direct Payments, they do enable the provision of tailor-make breaks that are not only effective for the family, but also enhance Alistair’s life. This far outweighs the negatives.
Alistair’s short break
Alistair’s family consider that Direct Payments work so well because they don’t limit what
Alistair can do, and because they can choose who to employ, Alistair’s carers share the family’s commitment to giving him a better life. They work together to think of ways to adapt what normal teenagers do, and give Alistair and his various disabled friends the opportunity to do the same.
- carers of the local children and young people who use direct payments, organize group outings, to the cinema, bowling, having a meal out or going shopping, so that they have peer activities and time away from parents;
- Alistair, supported by his carer, has had a friend to stay over for the weekend with her carer;
- Alistair was supported by two carers, to visit a friend who has recently gone away to college