Caring for Individuals with Additional Needs

ECTS Value: 6 ECTS

Contact Hours: 30

Self Study Hours: 72

Assessment Hours: 48


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

Individuals may suffer different conditions some of which are congenital, and others acquired due to sickness, accidents, life events and sometimes even life choices. Old age is a reality that also puts a lot of pressure on society where one needs to see how older adults are cared for. This module will focus mostly on how the physical needs of vulnerable individuals and older adults are met through great care while taking into consideration the intellectual, emotional and social aspects of each individual. Knowledge of different practitioners and their roles in such situations will be part of this module whereby students may meet such professionals and broaden their comprehension of how to care for vulnerable people. Physical skills like feeding, bathing, and handling such individuals will be taught in this module. Pedagogy of how to teach such skills in class to students studying Health and Social Care will also be highlighted.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Demonstrate how one would carry out feeding a person with additional needs;

a. Indicative content:

b. swallowing difficulties, person with visual impairment;
c. Carry out washing techniques used with a person with additional needs;

a. Indicative skills:

d. Promoting independence while helping to wash a person in sitting in a shower;
e. Use of bath with side flap to facilitate transfers and promote independence;
f. Bed bathing technique;
g. Show how to move and handle a person with mobility problems taking into consideration safety issues;

a. Indicative skills:

h. Sitting transfer from bed to chair with the use of the appropriate equipment according to the patient’s ability;
i. Repositioning a person on the bed or on the wheel chair;
j. Demonstrate how one would aid a person to move;
k. Perform making an unoccupied bed.


a. Describe the physical intellectual, emotional and social needs of children in the following conditions;
Indicative content:

  • Down’s syndrome;
  • Delayed development;
  • Cerebral Palsy;
  • Spina Bifida.

b. Describe the physical intellectual, emotional and social needs of adults and older adults in the following conditions;
Indicative content:

  • Stroke;
  • Arthritis;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Dementia;
  • Overall stiffness of joints;
  • Obesity.

c. List the different equipment available to aid in feeding, washing, dressing and moving individuals with additional needs;
Indicative content:

  • Bathing and toileting: grab rails, bath seats, shower stools, commodes, toilet frames, raised toilet seat…..;
  • Personal care: long handles hair rush, long handled toe nail scissors,…..;
  • Dressing: long stick shoe horn, sock aid, button hook , zipper aid….

d. Describe methods of how to move and handle a person with mobility problems while maintaining the abilities one still has during such activity of daily living;
Indicative content:

  • Mobility: walking frames, tripod, quadripod, stick, crutches;
  • Feeding: wide handled cutlery, weighted cutlery, angled cutlery….

e. Identify the causes of pressure sores, where they are most likely to occur and methods how to prevent them.
Indicative content:

  • Causes: Friction, compression, shearing, tearing of skin.
  • Frequent places of the human body: ears, head, shoulder blades, back bone, elbows, sacrum, buttocks, knees, heels ankles.
  • Prevention of Pressure sores: change of position, pressure relief mattress, keep skin clean and dry, protein rich diet, appropriate exercise.

f. Identify the health and safety procedures to be taken into consideration when caring for an individual with additional needs;
g. Describe how pressure sores can be avoided taking into consideration washing and handling techniques;
h. Identify the values one should have to care for individuals;

Indicative content:

  • Confidentiality
  • No judgmental attitude
  • Controlled emotional involvement
  • Acceptance
  • Privacy and dignity
  • Individualization
  • Client self- determination
  • Purposeful expression of feelings

i. List the principles of caring for vulnerable individuals;
Indicative content:

  • Code of conduct and practice for social service workers.

j. Define the rights promoted through the principles mentioned in the code of conduct;
k. Define what is needed to meet the needs deduced through case studies scenarios.


a. Demonstrate the help needed by a person with additional needs, taking into consideration his condition;
b. Follow a list of procedures when caring for people with additional needs;
c. Demonstrate the different roles each practitioner covers;
d. Prepare activities/tasks to use in the classroom.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
1. Healthcare Support: A Textbook for Healthcare Assistants ISBN13 9780717145126
2. Care Skills & Care Support: A new textbook written introducing the knowledge, skills and competencies required to work effectively in a healthcare setting and to care for clients in a safe and hygienic environment. ISBN13 9780717157266
3. Assisting Children with Special Needs: An Irish Perspective. Front Cover. Eilis Flood. Gill & Macmillan, 2010
4. Care of The Older Person: ISBN13 9780717157259


Skip to content