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Caring for adults
Caring for adults

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5.2 Language and perception

It is important that you consider the way the language you use will be received by others. It is absolutely not all right to swear at or about the people you are supporting, or your colleagues. What some people call ‘banter’ may be seen as offensive or prejudiced behaviour by others, and you always need to be aware of how others may perceive what you say.

However, we have already discussed the fact that some of the people you support may use words or behaviours that you find unacceptable and difficult to deal with. This may be because of your own backgrounds and beliefs or sensitivities, but you do have to find a way to deal with this without resorting to retaliation.

There will be times when you have to record incidents involving the behaviour of people you support, and if you do, it is very important to do this accurately. It’s no good saying ‘He swore at me’ or ‘He kicked off’ because this is not helpful for anyone trying to assess the incident or trying to prevent it happening again.

If you need to record an incident and it involves someone swearing, it is important that you write down exactly what they said, even if you find it hard to do.

Also, if there is an incident that needs to be recorded you must write exactly what you saw happen, and nothing else. It is also helpful to write down what had been happening just before and the result of the incident. This again is so that anyone trying to assess the person’s behaviour has a clear picture of what happened without it being clouded by other people’s opinions or judgements.