Alternatives to traditional day services for people with learning difficulties are key

Using ordinary community spaces rather than specialist facilities is key to providing successful day services for people with learning difficulties, delegates heard at Community Care CC Live logo articleLive today.

Barbara McIntosh, co-director of the Foundation for People with Learning Difficulties, said that services needed to be in places such as adult education centres, libraries and theatres rather than traditional day centres to ensure that they enabled people to become a part of their community.

She said that the use of community places did require thought though as they would need to have facilities such as hoists installed to enable people with learning difficulties to use them.

McIntosh said that some parents had expressed concern about their children no longer being provided with day centre care for five days a week as this proved convenient for them due to working full-time. She said that it was up to professionals to convince them that varied activities in a range of settings could be provided for the same time period enabling them to carry on working.

McIntosh added that providing people with learning difficulties with employment opportunities was central to their quality of life but that some day services she had visited did not cover this.

“Some day services don’t see employment as their business and that’s worried us,” she concluded.

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