Stroke survivor Brian gets ready to move on

This story from Shared Lives South West shows how Shared Lives is providing great health care as well as social care. The story can be found here. It’s a great contrast with the story about room renting which hit the headlines last week – see my previous blog. We are working with NHS England and 7 local NHS CCGs to develop new health care options. Here is an extract from the full story with thanks to Shared Lives South West, who continue to inspire us all:

If you rewind a year, Brian Lee’s future looked bleak. While out walking in local woods he had a stroke and ended up in intensive care and endured a four-month hospital stay.
His health deteriorated further while in hospital as he also suffered two minor heart attacks and Brian was extremely weak.

The medical trauma left him with complete memory loss and his mobility was severely compromised- making it difficult for him to walk even short distances.

Fast forward to now and his life couldn’t be more different.  Thanks to the support and care he’s received from the Shared Lives team and ultimately his Shared Lives carers Jeanette and Alan Eames as well as his own determination, Brian is well on the road to recovery.

He’s recently managed to plan and go on holiday to Thailand and is preparing to move out to his own flat and live independently.

“I was so stubborn and determined. I had to prove to myself that I can still do things,” said Brian.

“Jeanette and Alan have helped me through it all. I was decrepit feeble creature when I arrived at their home in March.

“I couldn’t walk down the drive, now I can nip up to town. I never dreamt of being so independent again when I came out hospital.

Since moving in with the Eames’ family, near Okehampton, they have been there to support him every step of the way-  from helping him with appointments to liaising with his friends to help him move forward and sorting his medication and preparing him for his trip to Thailand, where he visited with no support. It was paramount his carers got him ready for the trip and made sure he was able to manage all his medication.

The Shared Lives team were also on hand to make the match with the Eames family. They charity’s Funding and Benefits team also maximised his benefits.

“They prepared me and made me ready for life outside,” said Brian.

“I think what was most important to me was to realise limitations early on, then I think you have to scale back on your expectations, then you can move forward positively.
“The main help was with my medication, that was a key thing. With Jeanette’s help there were visits to the doctors to make sure my balance of medication was right, as when I came out of hospital it was all wrong.

“I was on knock-out drops, I wasn’t living life as it should be. By 11am I wanted to go back to sleep again. I spent most of my time just sleeping. It was too much and there was a real temptation not to take them.

“Jeanette got it sorted out for me.”

“I also made sure he was taking the right medication at the right times to start. Now he has pots and has hang of doing it all himself,” said Jeanette.

Banking also became difficult as he struggled to remember numbers.

“If you ask me about a phone number or bank details and I wouldn’t have a clue,” he said.

With advise from Jeanette, they decided to change passwords to key dates that he could remember.

“That way I could do somethings myself with support,” said Brian.

The full story is here.

Nick’s Shared Lives journey

I really enjoyed reading this story from Shared Lives South West which has just received a very positive inspection from CQC. We think that one of the ways in which Shared Lives is different from other approaches is that it allows people who have previously been seen only as ‘in need’ and ‘vulnerable’, to contribute to a household and their community, as well as receiving the support they need.

Nick’s journey- from being cared for to being a carer!

MeAfrica

Nicholas Richards is 26 years old and has suffered from an anxiety disorder from an early age when he developed a school phobia and, as a result, he missed all formal education after the age of 11. This was not picked up by social services as the family moved to Spain and by the time they returned he had been out of the state system for several years. At the condition’s height he was reclusive for about four years, living with his father and barely leaving the house or his bedroom.

In this time he lost or never developed a lot of simple, fundamental social skills and communication and found being around people close to impossible. He experienced paranoia and phobias about people and being outside.

In September of 2010 he was referred to a doctor by a family member and began the process of rehabilitation with a match to a Shared Lives South West carer in Dawlish. During this time he has worked incredibly hard and, with nurturing support from his carers, he has turned his life around….

Read the full story here: http://sharedlivessw.org.uk/nicks-journey-from-being-cared-for-to-being-a-carer/