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In order to promote well-being, the individual should feel comfortable where they are. If they find the lights are too bright, dim them where possible. If it is too noisy you might close doors or windows or adjust the volume on the TV. If possible, adjust the room temperature so that they feel comfortable and airy rooms or clean away anything that might cause unpleasant smells. The important thing to remember is that you ask them about anything they are not happy with and then do what you can to make the environment the best it can be for them.

If you are working at night it will be impossible to work in the dark or without any noise but you need to be careful to minimise any discomfort or stress. If you are worried that the individual’s environment is causing them distress and you cannot solve it straight away, talk to their carer or a manager to get advice on how to make changes.

Family members might be another source of information as they will know the individual better and may have solutions that you haven’t thought of.

As part of an individual’s care plan, you may have to do things that are uncomfortable or even painful for them, for example when moving or assisting them. You will need to carry these out with the greatest care and sensitivity. Before you begin a task or touch the individual in any way, you should ask them and tell them that what you are about to do might be uncomfortable or painful. 

Don’t forget that consent is a vital part of care work and particularly important when you need to do things that are unpleasant. If, for example, you need to open curtains and let in bright light or make noise, it is respectful and polite to tell them so they are prepared. Always explore options with your manager if you feel that there might be other ways of approaching something to reduce discomfort or distress. You may need to get further advice and support if necessary for example requesting a referral to the GP.

Other systems within your workplace, for example, handovers or team meetings, are good opportunities to make co-workers aware of the concerns you may have. Maybe together you can find ways of working that minimise distress and discomfort. You may also find that your worries are shared by others and might identify a procedure that needs to be changed. Reporting your concerns is good practice as it can improve the quality of care and support.