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Lifestyle Risk Factors

NDIS Practice Standard 3: Provision of Support #

1.0 Purpose #

Participants are more likely to have poor physical and mental health, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes, oral diseases, depression and anxiety. These health conditions may be a direct result of, or made worse, by lifestyle risk factors such as poor nutrition, obesity, smoking, alcohol intake and lack of exercise. This policy’s purpose is to support participants in their lifestyle choices to reduce their risks.

2.0 Scope #

Staff working with participants and designing support plans must be mindful of lifestyle risk factors and support the participant in becoming more active within their community.

3.0 Policy #

This policy aims to assist participants in improving health are nutrition, physical activity, adequate sleep, reducing stress, anxiety, alcohol intake, and stopping smoking. Loneliness and isolation are also lifestyle risk factors. For instance, the lack of a job, friends or hobbies can lead to many hours spent alone without purpose or connection.

Management must ensure that staff are trained in healthy eating, exercise, stress reduction, and a positive lifestyle, so information and support can flow to the participant.

This policy is linked to the NDIS Practice Standards, including:

  • Support planning: Participants are actively involved in the development of their support plans. Support plans reflect participant needs, requirements, preferences, strengths, and goals and are regularly reviewed.
  • Independence and informed choice: iSeekSupport supports participants in making informed choices, exercising control, and maximising their independence relating to the supports provided.
  • Access to supports: Participants access the most appropriate supports that meet their needs, goals and preferences.
  • Incident Management: Participants are safeguarded by the incident management system, ensuring that incidents are acknowledged, responded to, well-managed and used as part of our continuous improvement.
  • Information Management: Participants’ information is managed to ensure that it is identifiable, accurately recorded, current and confidential. Each participant’s information is easily accessible to the participant and appropriately utilised by relevant workers.
  • Human resource management: Participant’s support needs are met by competent workers holding relevant qualifications and who have relevant expertise and experience to provide person-centred support

4.0 Procedure #

Lifestyle risks can be addressed by eating healthy food, increasing exercise, reducing stress, and connecting. For instance,

  • Reducing the amount of takeaway food eaten,
  • Choosing food and drinks low in added sugar,
  • Increasing movement throughout the day and
  • Becoming involved in a community activity that will create a connection with others.

Participants may not have had the opportunity to access or control their living environments, such as food, daily activities, exercise and community participation.

Lifestyle changes happen through:

Raising awareness,

  • Provision of information about how everyday activities can affect health.
  • Raising health awareness and giving ideas of how to make lifestyle changes that will address risks such as obesity, high blood pressure and stress management

Setting goals for change,

  • Setting small achievable goals for change such as walking short distances, not taking sugar in coffee or tea will gradually build to bigger goals.

Learning with peer support to increase connections, such as

  • Friends, physical training with a group
  • Joining a community garden
  • Water aerobics or participating in a walkathon or fun run
  • Joining an art class, music or dancing lessons.

Changes to the living environment and learning the new skills that may be needed;

  • Making changes to the environment that can support goals
  • Changes can be small such as having healthy food choices available, planning, shopping and cooking healthy meals.

Encouraging physical activity, including

  • Encouraging positive ideas of physical activity and self-esteem
  • Increasing movement through normal daily activities is a way to feel more positive about our bodies and movement
  • Increasing physical activity improves health and influences other lifestyle risks such as nutrition, stress, and smoking; positive outcomes are lower blood pressure, improvement of self-esteem and mental health.

4.1 Supporting participants #

iSeekSupport will monitor participants’ health, safety and wellbeing, support participants to maintain their health and access appropriate health services. iSeekSupport will support participants to be empowered to live a healthy lifestyle and understand why it is important.

Below are means that we may support participants in the following ways:

  • Incorporate health promotion and ways to live a healthy lifestyle into support planning
  • Link actions for a healthy lifestyle to the participant’s annual comprehensive assessment
  • Provide support to make informed decisions regarding their lifestyle support to:
    • Understand any risks arising from their present lifestyle
    • Understand how they can improve their lifestyle to match their own health goals
    • Talk to their GP about their health and what lifestyle changes are needed to optimise their health
  • Facilitate choice in lifestyle changes and understanding about their health, using accessible tools and resources
  • Engage the participant with encouragement and highlight their achievements so that they are motivated to develop a healthy lifestyle
  • Provide information about healthy lifestyles and different ideas to improve health, such as walking instead of driving, learning to cook a new healthy dish or taking up an exercise class
  • Suggest and support access to new activities or choices that link to the participant’s goals and dreams and how a healthy lifestyle may help them achieve this goal
  • Provide information about and support access to new interests and community activities in the local area such as a community garden, amateur theatre, start a walking group, cooking lessons or arts and crafts
  • Support the participant to make changes to their living environment that will support their goals, increase incidental exercise around the house, keep healthy food choices in the cupboard, and walk to places when possible
  • Support to access both information or professional assistance such as dieticians or exercise physiologists where the person’s lifestyle choices are inconsistent with their own health goals.

4.2 Referrals to other professionals #

Lifestyle changes can involve changes across different aspects of a participant’s life. A multi-disciplinary approach can assist the participant in developing new skills or identifying a support need and, for instance, identifying an appropriate level and type of exercise or learning how to cook.

The types of professionals that may assist in lifestyle change include dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, counsellors and NDIS behaviour support practitioners.

4.3 Training and development #

As part of our training program, staff may receive training and skills in areas such as:

  • Healthy lifestyles, nutrition and menu planning and exercise
  • Positive communication skills to engage with participants and empower change.

4.4 iSeekSupport obligations #

As part of our obligations to the NDIS Code of Conduct, staff must provide NDIS supports or services to participants to:

  • Act with respect for individual rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision-making following applicable laws and conventions
  • Provide supports and services safely and competently with care and skill
  • Promptly take steps to raise and act on matters that may impact the quality and safety of supports provided.

iSeekSupport will comply and demonstrate compliance with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018 related to delivering safe, quality supports and services and managing risks associated with the supports you provide to participants.

4.5 Resources #

Below are some resources to assist staff in the provision of information to participants.

iSeekSupport Policy and Procedure – Published 09.02.2022 #

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