8:30am Friday 8th June 2012
A MAJOR breakthrough is happening in the care of autistic people thanks to a ground-breaking scheme in Old Hill.
Autism sufferers are no longer restrained or sedated under the new approach in care pioneered by care provider Dimensions.
Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris praised the not-for-profit organisation after seeing how residents homes have been converted giving them more freedom.
Mr Morris said: “We need to make sure that there is enough flexibility in the way we support people with autism and learning disabilities so that other service providers can learn from the innovative and successful work being done by organisations like Dimensions.
“It is heartening to hear stories about how a different approach to social care is helping to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our local communities.
“What may seem like a small achievement to some like being able to make your own cup of tea means something completely different when it is the first time you’ve ever been allowed to do this for yourself like one of the residents I met.“ Mr Morris met people whose homes were converted from a registered care facility into individual bungalows last year when Dimensions took on responsibility for supporting people to live there.
Laura Thomas, West Midlands operations director for Dimensions said: "We were delighted to welcome James Morris MP and help tell the stories of the people we support. We are passionate about improving the quality of life of every person we support. This means ensuring people have real choice and control over their support such as who supports them and how they spend their time.
"The people Mr. Morris met today are living very different lives than even a few years ago. They are no longer in institutional settings where medication, restraints and risk aversion is the norm. They are now tenants in their own home where the support is focused on what people can do, not what they can't.”
She added: “With major reform to social care being planned by the government, it is vital that the needs of people with autism and learning disabilities are not marginalised and that we do not see a return to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to care in attempts to save money.
For more information about the organisation visit www.dimensions-uk.org.
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