Independently in Eastbourne
T moved into supported living in 2009 with Focus Care Agency providing her with care and support. She lives independently in her own maisonette within a mews setting in Eastbourne.
She has neighbours in close proximity who also enjoy independent tenancies within the Mews.
T is a 26 year old lady with mild learning disabilities. Prior to her acquiring this tenancy she lived in a supported family placement for three years which had broken down due to her non-compliance with daily living skills. There was also a breakdown with her family and peer relationships.
T is unable to control her behaviours when she feels that she is not in control of what is happening around her. T’s self-harm is a way of dealing with difficult feels that build up inside
Her behaviour can deteriorate rapidly and she will self-harm, using sharp implements to gouge her skin, picking her skin/scabs, remove toenails cutting or burning herself and she has also made serious allegations against males.
She will also neglect her personal hygiene and abstain from eating which results in rapid weight loss. Non-compliance in other areas of her life will also become apparent e.g. not attending her planned agreed activities.
When T’s mood is low or she feels people around her do not understand her she feels separate or disconnected from her own feelings and the pain she is inflicting on herself. She becomes anxious and needs encouragement prompting and support with her daily life and maintaining her life skills. She also requires staff to listen actively to her and support her during and after these periods of extreme distress in an environment that she feels safe and supported in by people she trusts.
T needs continuity in staff provision and prefers female staff to support her.
The staff team are non-judgemental and spent time with T building a rapport and building trust. She was involved in all aspects of planning her care through staff actively listened to her, paraphrasing until it was clear she understood what was being described and planned. In this way T was enabled to take ownership, make choices and was included in decision-making about her plan of care, support needs and activities. It was recognised that “overloading” T with too much information would be detrimental to her progress.
Through collaboration and consultation agreement was reached with T and the multi-disciplinary team to prioritise interventions required and to work intensively with the prioritised objectives.
Plans were designed using our enhanced care, recovery approach which is person centred. We included pro-active and reactive interventions based on the positive behavioural approach and by agreeing the goals using the Recovery Star as an outcome based measure.
T has progressed extremely well. Incidents of self harming have reduced by 70% from baseline recordings.
She has only made one major accusation within the last year which was investigated by the Police and was found to be unsubstantiated.
Throughout this time Focus Care Agency has built up an excellent trust relationship with T and a number of outside agencies which has led to professional relationships being developed in order to work collaboratively i.e. the Police, Social Services and GP services in supporting her.
The impact of this process is that T has learnt to trust the staff. She attends her planned activities independently using public transport. T has learnt the value of healthy eating and maintains her weight – she is supported to cook fresh food which she does daily.
T organises her own finances with the support of the staff, and is able to manage a budget, use a cash machine and do her own food shopping.
She participates in various community activities, and has been on regular weekends independently to visit her aunt and has recently enjoyed a week’s holiday too.
Her self-harm behaviours have diminished. Her confidence has increased and if she is feeling low, she is now able to discuss her anxieties with staff.
T has been present during all her reviews. Her social worker has commented on how well she is doing and how pleased the multi-disciplinary team are with her progress.