How do we know if our family member in care is happy & okay?

Quality of life indicators are often discussed with people whose lives include barriers to obtaining security and satisfaction. It is an important issue for having good mental health and wellness. Indicators that are typically measured include:

  • Having good physical health
  • Having a home
  • Maintaining meaningful relationships
  • Participating in meaningful activities
  • Choice and control regarding life activities

Those are all REALLY important to all of us, and the lack or loss of any one is difficult to cope with.

When we assess a person and their environment Parley Services includes a second list of important quality of life features to the one above. These add-ons ensure that the five measurable items are more than just a reasonable facsimile of a life. A truly good life has unhindered opportunities for personal growth and development, within the capacity of the individual and typical social standards. 

A life that is facilitated, by paid supporters in particular, must necessarily acknowledge and empower:

  • Competence
  • Credibility
  • Respect and dignity
  • Self-determination
  • Reciprocal (not one-sided) interdependence (independence is not healthy for anyone)

Without these behaviours reliably included in supporting the above indicators none of us has a good sense of well-being and satisfaction. Sometimes quality of life factors are removed in the name of care, protection or risk management, because the person's capacity is limited.

Removing opportunities for a full and enjoyable life denies that person's human rights. It should never occur in an arbitrary way without full consultation and agreement by all primary supports and professionals involved.  Even then it must be temporary and include a plan for supportive teaching or positive behaviour support, to review and reinstate lost rights.