Through Self-Directed Support option 1 (also known as a direct payment), many people choose to employ their own personal assistant to provide care and support for themselves or a loved one.
Emma is an activities worker in the Grampian area who is employed through a direct payment. Emma offers social support to a young boy called Caden and has shared her experience of supporting Caden throughout lockdown.
“I have been taking Caden out twice a week for walks during lockdown. We are now known as the ‘nature squad’! Caden has Autism and I always try to encourage him to learn new things.
“Since we have started doing nature missions together, I have noticed that his memory is improving. I teach him letters on signs to verbally sound out words. Recently, he has remembered some of these and taught his mum! For example, he kept thinking he had heard an Owl on our walks, and I told him it was a Wood Pigeon. One day his mum had said, ‘Listen to the Owl’ and he told her ‘No mum, that’s a Wood Pigeon, you won’t hear an owl in daylight!’.
“He had a habit of staying on the PlayStation until early hours but tells me he now tries to go on it less because he knows it’s better to play outside. I’m so proud of him, go team nature squad!”
Caden’s Mum has commented on the support provided by Emma, she said: “Caden’s confidence has came on leaps and bounds and he is always excited for his nature squad days with Emma. When Caden is with Emma, it frees up time for me to spend with my youngest daughter. Choosing to become an employer is the best move I’ve made in a long time”.