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Michelle’s ‘About Me’

Before Michelle’s ‘About Me’ she felt she was treated like she was invisible.

Michelle decided to complete an ‘About Me’ to go alongside her Continuing Healthcare personalised care and support plan because. She wanted people to see her as a person, not a disability. Before her ‘About Me’, she felt she was treated like she was invisible.

“People didn’t see me. They didn’t understand what was wrong with me, and they knew nothing about my background. This was time-consuming, and I had to repeat my story time and time again.”

Michelle’s journey

“One day, my daughter decided to write about my personal journey, which included who I was, my employment history, and how I became ill. My daughter wanted them to see me as a grown woman who could be supported to make her own decisions.”

Michelle was able to make this story into her All About Me one-page document, which she uses for her PAs and new staff. She advises all health and social care staff to read this before they visit her; this way, they know what to expect and will be prepared, which saves everyone time.

Michelle also uses her About Me document in conversations around planning her care to allow Continuing Healthcare professionals to be more flexible in their approach and support Michelle with what she needs to be in control of and her own decisions. This includes the importance of her Alexa to reduce anxiety, reminding her of reviews and meetings, which Michelle often forgets due to her condition. Alexa has also supported Michelle to translate her About Me into other languages so her personal assistants can better understand it.

Her About Me also contains information about the importance of her assistance dog, Amos, so people know he’s more than a pet dog.

The impact for Michelle

Michelle’s About Me means she is now seen as a person and not just an ID number.

“Getting people to read the document at first was extremely hard,” she says, “but now when I have a review, the process is a better experience because people know how to support me, so I am at the centre of the plan. My reviews are quicker, saving money and time for everyone.”

“The document has taken away the fear of preparing for an assessment and review. People know prior to meeting me that I have a mental health condition, so they can be more personalised in their approach and think about the best way to communicate effectively with me.”

The All About Me document enabled Michelle to fully contribute to the planning process around the support she needs. It has given her back her life, letting her access the community, including going to exhibitions and joining My Life Choices.

“I now have a purpose and a place to share my knowledge and skills. I feel like myself for the first time in ages.”