‘How could I change this? What help do I need?’

Kath has identified numerous opportunities through which Vic could be helped to achieve his ambition of remaining as independent as possible in his own home through supported self care. She has gone on to help him access the information and support necessary to realise these opportunities through a wide variety of means, including:

  • Research on the internet;
  • Talking to professionals from social services, medical and allied professional backgrounds;
  • Liaising with local care providers;
  • Contact with local and national charities;
  • Contact with specialist support groups;
  • Seeking legal advice.

In order to help Vic to move around his home safely with assistance as needed, Kath has supported him by doing the following:

  • Sought assessment and advice from professionals in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social services;
  • Sourced and arranged provision of assistive equipment, such as a frame, a specialised bed and chair, and a commode;
  • Arranged structural adaptations to his home, such as the installation of a lift to the front door and an en suite wet room;
  • Encouraged Vic to transfer to the best of his ability at all times;
  • Encouraged Vic to do daily exercises as advised by the physiotherapist.;
  • Sourced and supported him to use a small pedal cycle to maintain the strength in his legs;
  • Arranged medical assessment and treatment of the arthritis in his knees, including a domiciliary injection.

In order to help Vic to stay on his own in the house for short periods during the day and overnight, Kath has supported him by doing the following:

  • Sourced and arranged provision of a special electronically adjustable chair that is suitable for people who have poor sitting balance, so that he can sit safely on his own following his stroke (www.seatingmatters.com);
  • Sourced and arranged provision of a special electronically adjustable bed, to improve Vic’s comfort and safety at night;
  • Sourced and arranged provision of a mobile phone that is easy for Vic to use if he needs to contact Kath, and a care call alarm system that he can activate in an emergency;
  • Sourced and arranged the provision of specially designed books and jigsaws from the Alzheimer’s Society (www.alzheimers.org.uk), and talking books, which Vic can use for entertainment when he is on his own;
  • Recorded certain things for him that he can still enjoy on the television, such as sport, so that she can set them up for him to watch when he is on his own;
  • Encouraged and motivated Vic to continue to have the confidence to stay on his own for short periods by making him feel safe and secure that help is always close at hand because day or night Kath is always only just downstairs;
  • Vic loves listening to music and so, in order to try to help him feel more settled if he wakes in the night, Kath first of all tried leaving the radio on for Vic when he went to bed, tuned to Classic FM which he generally enjoys during the day as it is quite soothing. At night, however, he became confused by the adverts and news segments, and sometimes thought he was directly involved in what was going on. Instead, Kath has now recorded several of his favourite CDs, mostly Glenn Miller and other big band music, on to a memory stick. Altogether there are several hours of music which means that if he wakes up in the night there is something familiar for his mind to focus on.

In order to help Vic to stay as strong as possible by eating well and drinking plenty of fluids, Kath has supported him by doing the following:

  • Making sure that he has fluids within reach so that he can maintain his fluid intake during the periods when he is on his own at home;
  • Popping in to make him nice cups of coffee, which he very much enjoys!
  • Making sure that either she or one of the professional carers is always present at mealtimes to prepare his food, encourage him to eat well and support him to continue to feed himself unassisted;
  • Sourcing ‘Wiltshire Farm Foods’ frozen pre-prepared meals that are delivered to Vic regularly at home. Vic really likes these meals and very much enjoys the fact that he can select the meals which he likes to order himself. This engagement in the menu selection has had a very positive effect on his dietary intake.

In order to help Vic to be sure that somebody knows his wishes and is able to make decisions on his behalf if he is not well enough to do so himself, Kath has supported him by helping to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney which both formalizes her usual role in representing Vic’s wishes regarding his health and care, and nominates others to fulfill this role in case Kath is ever unable or unavailable to do so.

Find out more:
Action Planning
How Could I Change This?
What Help do I Need?