Summary of report content
Healthwatch South Tees (Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland) undertook research about the wellbeing of adults with learning disabilities, following a request from the local Integrated Care Partnership. They attended two sessions for adults with learning disabilities and their carers run by Myplace to run focus groups.
Overall, the most valued contributory factor to good physical and emotional health was engaging in activities of choice, making friends, meeting with them and having someone to talk to. Participants valued the right care and support, as well as community meeting places to enable this to happen. Activities mentioned were wide ranging and included things like drama/dance and sport as well as opportunities to develop life skills such as healthy eating/cookery and affordable meals.
Participants demonstrated significant knowledge about how to keep happy and healthy. They drew on the relationship between physical and mental health, advocating how engaging in things like dance helped with strength and fitness as well as feeling good and making friends. They felt that more could be done to educate other people to look after themselves better. There was much compassion and willingness to help others in need. This was evident in discussions about everyday life and in the sessions attended. Participants could be seen to emotionally benefit from the kindness, consideration and support for each other in the groups.
Discussions about ambitions, continuous learning opportunities, developing confidence and self-worth centred around opportunities to volunteer and get paid work. Within the community, participants recognised the importance of home contributing to emotional wellbeing. Home was somewhere warm and cosy to feel physically relaxed, as well as a safe place, where they had someone to look after them and to talk to. Other areas of discussions recognised times or circumstances in people’s lives when out of the ordinary help was needed: If someone was ill, they would need a doctor; the police can help to make someone feel safe in the community.
There were no recommendations in the report.