Complex Care Made Simple for John
John came to Independence Homes in 2017; he lives in our newest Supported Living service in Surrey. It has been designed to make life as simple as possible, for those living with limited mobility and complex care needs. David contracted meningitis four years ago, at the age 41, which resulted in tetraplegia. Previously he has worked as a controller for the London Buses for over sixteen years. Here he talks about what having independence means to him.
‘Having independence means a lot to me, I am not the man I was before, and my life has completely changed. I am a social person; I don’t want to just keep myself to myself all the time. I like people, and it is important that I have the chance to meet up with people and socialise when I want to. This environment offers that.
‘Technology makes a big difference in my life. Just the fact I can open and close my front door without assistance is important. Technology means I can operate my lights, TV, telephone and computer. I can choose to talk to who I want to when I want, or not!
‘A lady from the QEF (Queen Elizabeth Foundation) where I received rehabilitation, worked with me regarding my vocational and future planning, she had found out about Independence Homes and I came along for a visit. I had some very specific questions in mind when I came – the first thing I asked was: “Can my kids visit and stay over?” the lady from IH just looked at me and said, “they’re your kids, of course they can stay over!”
‘I knew from that visit that this is where I could live. I’ve bought my own house before; you just get the feeling ‘this is the one’. It was close to London; so I am in easy travel distance from friends and family. It is also close to a town with community activities. I started playing chess last year – I have taught myself by studying the masters, and there is a chess club nearby which I am planning to join.
‘At the moment I am settling into my new home but in the future I would like to start working again – I’m considering the options in the voluntary sector. I also want to study; I have been looking into Open University courses as I am interested in studying Philosophy.
‘I have also been researching new technologies to help with my mobile development; I have some slight movement in my arms and legs. I saw some equipment on YouTube which is similar to a cross-trainer, but it holds your body in an upright position – I would like to try that. It is just one more thing I’m aiming for and who knows what will be possible in the future.’
Complex care made simple for Marie
By the time 22-year-old Marie moved to Independence Homes she had been at a short-stay respite centre for 16 months. Her uncontrollable Epilepsy meant she was unable to return to her family home because she needed access to constant care. She also needed the freedom to enjoy her life again.
Marie’s parents and Care Manager visited Independence Homes back in 2010. At first, they had their doubts because our services are so different to everything they had experienced before. We explained that she would have access to 24-hour waking support from expert staff, who were fully trained in administering her medication. At the core of everything we do we strive to ensure everyone enjoys as much independence as possible. So, with our help, Marie could look forward to living a fulfilled life.
Since joining Independence Homes Marie has thrived. Her hospital visits have reduced and, most importantly, her condition has changed from taking over her life to being a manageable part of it. She now enjoys an active life with the many friends she has made. She recently enrolled in college – opening up a world of exciting new opportunities.
Complex Care Made Simple for Arthur
“At IH everything has changed, it is like being part of a family.”
32-year-old Arthur was isolated before he moved to Independence Homes in 2013. A serious neurological condition was impacting his day-to-day life. This was compounded after suffering a brain injury when he was involved in a road accident. Arthur was living far from his family and his mental health was suffering.
“I did not have much of a life, limited people to talk to ‘celebration times’ were spent on my own. Sometimes crying due to the loneliness and wondering why my family would never visit. I was a mess!!”
“I was unruly, rude to the staff and had what some people would say ‘a chip on my shoulder’. I thought I could take on the world but I could not, I crashed and burned in a thunderous mess of tears, crying on the floor. They came to my rescue, talked about what was wrong and started me on a course that has been like a rollercoaster. Chatting and helping me when all my strength has gone, no matter who the staff member is it is always someone that is passionate.”
“Standing by me through the good and bad, without their support, I would not be the type of man I am today, always striving for the future, IHL is my family, and I would be lost without their help and friendship.
Arthur is a well-known character throughout the IH community, Arthur is actively involved in many of the different initiatives. He uses his experience of living with a brain injury to help train staff. He also sits on the Service User Board. The board was established so that service users can put forward their ideas and opinions on how the services are run.