‘Talking Matters’ is a service that empowers families to make decisions together about how to agree and commit to care plans that are in the best interest for all involved. The service aims to identify and engage relatives and other supportive adults connected to a person with any level of care needs to help them maintain their independence.
Hello – my name is Chris Nutt and I am the counsellor here at Swansea Carer’s Centre. I have worked here at the Centre for 17 years and have been a counsellor for over 20 years. So using all that experience I am delighted and really excited that we are launching a new project called “Talking Matters” here at the Carer’s Centre which is funded by the City and County of Swansea.
“So what is it?” I hear you all say.
Aimed at people who may be needing some support to manage their needs – Talking Matters aims to do exactly what it says on the tin – talking really does matter but sometimes people find it difficult to express their needs and talk about the things which really matter with regard to their wellbeing, their health – both their physical and mental health needs.
Our friends and family and carers are the people closest to us, people assume they know just what we need or indeed what they think should be happening to help us manage our lives. However, sometimes they all do this independently and actually no-one talks to each other about the very heart of their activity – which is “who are we doing this for”, “Am I doing what they want me to do”, “Is it right to be doing it this way”, “Do I need to talk to everybody else about this”.
This is when things can become a bit of a problem – for whatever reason – families, friends and carers sometimes find it difficult to talk to each other and so the person at the centre of it feels isolated or unable to feel they are in control of what is happening to them.
This is where we come in – we help facilitate solutions when families have stopped talking about the things that matter, we aim to bring families and their wider support networks together to jointly find solutions to the difficulties they are experiencing.
So how will it work? Well it is entirely voluntary – no-one will be forced into participating. We will talk to everyone individually and will then get a picture of what people think and feel about the situation. We will gather the information about the situation and will help the family to reach a solution on their own terms. We will do this by meeting together after each individual has been seen and talked about the situation from their point of view.
“I was surprised how easy it was to talk to somebody outside of the family – it made much more sense then – I couldn’t believe that my sister had been feeling exactly the same way as I did – I felt that we had wasted so much time not talking to each other about what we thought was best for Mum. We did laugh when we found out that Mum actually wanted something totally different. It really made us feel stronger as a family”.
“After talking everything through it turned out that my son actually wanted to try to live independently (with support) but hadn’t wanted to upset us because he thought we would be annoyed at him and wouldn’t support him any more”.
Referrals are taken from professionals who feel that their client or patient may benefit from the service. Once a referral is in place, we will work with all the family members in an inclusive and unbiased approach.