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British care worker spending weekend as disabled patient
A British care worker is tackling living as someone with learning disabilities to get an insight into how to treat her clients as part of a care-ethics project led by Belgium’s KAHO Sint-Lieven University, reports the Salisbury Journal. Elisa Wilcox, 43, from Fordingbridge, Hampshire, is currently in the Netherlands for the ‘sTimul’ project, which looks into how to improve care for those who need it, working with organisations including Dorset’s Partners in Care. The project takes care workers from all over Europe and puts them into a simulated care ethics ward, where they will live as if they had learning disabilities themselves. Ms Wilcox is spending two days as a person with severe disabilities on a ward in a specially simulated lab in Zeeland. She must stay in role for the duration of the programme and experience what it is like to be helped to eat and wash and to be taken to the bathroom. Ms Wilcox, who works in Ferndown, Dorset, is acting as a service user with cerebral palsy, moderate learning difficulties and epilepsy, who cannot speak. “This is going to be one of the most demanding things I’ve ever done,” said Ms Wilcox, who works for independent care provider Regard. “I’m hoping to come away with a greater understanding of what it’s like to be a person with learning difficulties, totally dependent on support staff. “To truly appreciate what it’s like to be cared for round the clock and all that involves is going to be a humbling experience.” Care workers from across Europe will be participating in the operation in two fully-equipped simulated care homes, one in the Netherlands and the other in Moorsele, West Flanders.