The relatively few meaningful assets people with limited intellectual ability through intellectual and multiple disability have, need to be treasured and enhanced.
Most in our general society take a pride in their appearance. Although, in today’s trendy and liberal world, there are few boundaries.
Those who have to be well presented all week for business reasons, tend to be very liberal at weekends and holidays. Yet, at such times they are well accepted by society as being way-out dress wise, but having quite acceptable behaviour in comparison.
Whereas, those with unusual behaviours, as a result of their intellectual or multiple disability, tend not to be so well accepted, especially if they are not well dressed and groomed.
It is, therefore, essential a person’s clothing be the very best they can afford, and maintained at the highest standard. It is not good enough to use the old adage – ‘the person has no ability to know how they are dressed, so it doesn’t matter’.
Clothing standards can be a significant problem for those with limited intellectual ability who are living away from their family in a supported accommodation group home, for example.
In such circumstances, it is essential the service provider establish practical policies to ensure their residents are always well dressed and groomed, from the purchase of appropriate attire, to its maintenance and replacement. Not only to enhance the person’s acceptance in the community, but for their self-esteem and confidence enhancement.
Just two of the areas of frequent neglect are ‘footwear’ and ‘buttons’. Shoes dirty, well worn and with insufficient choice of different types for different occasions. And buttons missing, so the clothing sloppy.
Daily shoe cleaning is not a difficult or time consuming task, but makes so much difference to the person’s appearance in, and acceptance by the public. A clothing review policy helps to ensure all clothing is regularly checked for integrity- damage, missing, cleanliness, size, etc, etc.
A box in the residents’ wardrobes for staff to drop questionable clothing and notes of noticed deficiencies, for the house supervisor to check each week to arrange repair, replacement or new purchase, is not rocket science.