Fela has finished his lunch at the dinner table, but still appears hungry. Staff tell him that lunch is “finished”. He begins to get aroused, rocking back and forth. What should they do?
- Staff to take Fela’s plate out as they take out theirs to prevent any accidental breakages.
- Avoid offering him more food as he will think that’s an appropriate way to request more food.
- If his arousal state gets to agitated, explain that they are leaving him to calm for “5 minutes” – show hand sign for ‘5’.
- They can pop to the door from time to time to check he’s okay.
- Once he is calm, they can prompt him to take fruit from his bowl on the sideboard in the dining room.
- If he asks for “cake, biscuits, ice cream” with Makaton, explain that he can have some “later” using Makaton and a positive expression.
- Once calm, offer him dry clothes to change into depending on how much he has sweated.
- You can put on some calming music and prompt him to sit in his rocking chair.
- Avoid changing the temperature of the room by opening windows, doors or putting the fan n until after he has calmed as this may be a sensory overload when he is agitated.
N.B. Because Fela tends to rush his food, he probably does not get the signal from the stomach to the brain that he is full until after he finishes eating. Normally it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to send this signal.
It is important for staff to eat with Fela at the dining table so they can model how to eat more slowly, chew well and take occasional sips of water.