K is an 84-year-old Scottish man who has struggled with an alcohol-induced dementia for many years. During his working life, K was a very accomplished cartoonist and for many years was a Director of his own illustration company. Many of his cartoons have featured in our national newspapers and in other popular publications.
Following the death of his wife, K found life extremely hard, and due to his alcoholism and dementia, soon found himself sleeping rough on London streets. K was so disorientated that he slept rough wherever he found himself, and this was taking a great toll on his health and wellbeing.
In 2009, K moved into Sylvester House and with the intensive support of the staff team was weaned off his alcohol addiction within three months. K was accompanied and socialised into the Hackney art community, and soon he was purchasing art supplies and equipment, and drawing again.
His lifelong passion for his art has been truly rediscovered at Sylvester House and K now creates his illustrations using specialist software on his own Apple iMac computer.
K had often slept rough on the streets in the past due to being so disorientated by his alcoholism and dementia, and would therefore end up sleeping wherever he found himself.
To combat this, the Sylvester House staff team fitted K with a Google tracker, which he wears over his shoulder, and also purchased a mobile phone for him. K is now able to venture out into the community on his own.
Staff can track and locate his whereabouts and contact him if ever he needs guidance or help getting home. This tracking system has allowed K to maintain his independence but in a safe and secure way.
By 2012, K had not seen or visited his family in Scotland for over 25 years and a reunion was long overdue and much needed. To resolve this, the senior management at Angel Supported Living arranged a very special Christmas surprise for K and his family in Scotland. The Sylvester House manager, drove K all the way from London to his family home in Scotland, arriving on Christmas Day. With his family gathered, K surprised them at the doorstep. They were all so surprised and very happy to be reunited as a family again.
K had the most wonderful Christmas day and was also invited to stay overnight, spending Boxing Day with his family. Enjoying his first family Christmas for over 25 years, K was so happy and could not stop talking about it on the long drive home. Nizaal and his wife are now looking forward to returning to Scotland with K in the not so distant future.
His family were all so happy to see K after so many years apart and strong family bonds were renewed. As a result of this Christmas surprise trip, his niece has become a big part of his life and K and his niece are regularly in contact and she visits K at Sylvester House regularly.
In July 2017, K was part of the Sylvester House holiday to Newquay in Cornwall and he enjoyed himself immensely, especially on the boat trips and picnics. K would be seen sitting and peacefully sketching the beautiful Cornish scenery around him.