Dare to be more independent: People with disabilities are not small children

Dubbed without question. Treated like little children. People with disabilities often suffer from this. The goal is to give residents more autonomy

It’s more than just a name change. There are new structures and a new attitude behind it: the specialized area for people with disabilities at CC Ahaus-Vreden is now called the specialist area for integration assistance. The new department head is Thomas Burning. With Team Leader Christophe Terroy, he explains the changes brought about by the Federal Share Act (BTHG). Monika Rathmer (58) and Petra Hamm (63) live in the outdoor living group at Dr.-Jürgen-Westphal-Haus in Ahaus. They say from their point of view.

“If I want to go somewhere, I say I will go.”

“Autonomy gives residents a sense of self-efficacy,” says Thomas Burning. “Also because they know it differently. For a long time, they were denied independence.” He can relate this to many previous incidents, such as when she was with her when she went shopping. “Everyone has always said that people with disabilities can simply be treated on an informal basis. It doesn’t matter where. It doesn’t matter who. They are treated like little children.”

For Petra Hamm and Monica Rathmer, the day starts at 5:30 AM. “With kitchen service when it’s my turn,” Petra Hamm says. If not, like Monika Rathmer, she takes care of the laundry in the outdoor condominium. It becomes clear that the two are encouraged in their independence and also take on the tasks of society with support.

Monika Rathmer has been working in the workshop at Haus Hall for 41 years

At 7.30 a.m. Petra Hamm and Monica Rathmer cycled to Haus Hall’s workshop in Ahaus. Monica Rather has been working there for 41 years. Petra Hamm is looking forward to early retirement. “My boss in the workshop has also retired.” I worked with her for many years. “There are a lot of young people here now,” Petra Hamm says. W: Corona made her more stressful. “It was quieter.” An essential part of an adult’s life is work life, and it doesn’t have to be any different for people with disabilities.

But what do you do when retirement approaches? Bischof-Tenhumberg-Haus has a daily pension structure. Petra Hamm asks: “Should I go there then?” “It’s your life. It’s about how you imagine it,” Thomas Burning tells her. Together with the 63-year-old, consideration is being given to how the day will be designed into the future. “Without a mission, it becomes your life,” says one resident of the outdoor living group. It’s boring.” In order to get rid of boredom, she likes to make appointments in the morning and then visit the day organizing procedure of CC in Bischof-Tenhumberg-Haus for half a day “first of all as a test”.

Living in smaller units

The Federal Participation Act, which has been in effect since 2017 — phase 3 of which came into effect in 2020 and phase 4 will follow in 2024 — and with it integration assistance is “the logical implementation of a process that has already taken place.” Thomas Burning explains that the past twenty years with assisted living Outpatient clinics “. “Many people with disabilities have moved into their homes and received care there; many live in smaller units and are no longer in large facilities.”

More offers and opportunities for people with disabilities – For Caritas employees, this means focusing more on the needs of the people entrusted to them. Thomas Burning gives a simple example: “Previously the inhabitants were told: Now there is food. Today, the inhabitants are first asked what they would like to eat and whether anyone would like to help.”

Rethink: From Supervisor to Assistant

Staff duties have changed. “This includes a rethink from supervisor to assistant,” explains Christophe Teroy. Not only the terminology has changed, but the financing is also on a different basis. “The Regional Association of Westphalia-Libya (LWL) pays only so-called professional services for social participation, reports Thomas Burning.

The Federal Participation Act is a bureaucratic beast.

What benefits are specifically granted and to what extent is not regulated by law. This is determined in each case individually. Factors include: What do people with disabilities want? What does he need? What are personal circumstances like? “The quality of life for people with disabilities improves significantly because we see ourselves as helpers,” says Thomas Berning.

But the Federal Participation Act eventually turned into a bureaucratic beast. Caritas, for example, has to calculate the hours of performance of specialists. There is a qualified assistant and a qualified assistant and a qualified assistant with a nursing character. But which of our services are qualified and which are not? How are bids in which several residents participate? ”

Even LWL as a service provider cannot say exactly what services can now be provided and how they will be rewarded. “I get help if I have to,” Petra Hamm explains. Depending on the situation, the 63-year-old needs help with cooking, correspondence, or seeing a doctor, for example.

Peter Schwak, Head of Social Services at Caritas Association Ahaus-Vreden says: “Not only are decisions made for people with disabilities, we support and support them in order to enable them to participate in social life. Instead of disability, inclusion in the community should be the priority. “.

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