S is a 35-year-old Chinese woman with Learning Disabilities and challenging behaviour. At a young age, S was adopted by an English family and lived at the family home until 2013, when S’s care and support needs became too much for her family to manage.
After a short spell in a secure hospital, S moved into Claremont House in 2014. When she first arrived, her personal care and support needs were very substantial, as S was doubly incontinent and needed 24 hour, one to one support with all her personal care and daily living needs. Even at meal times S needed very close monitoring, as she would try to eat all her food erratically fast and was therefore at a constant risk of choking.
S also suffered with debilitating panic attacks and had a particular fear of heights. This meant that she was unable to go up or down stairs without constant one to one reassurance and support. On the stairs, S would often be frozen by her fear and was unable to move at all.
Whenever S felt very anxious or fearful, she would persistently scratch and pick at her own skin, especially on her hands, arms and face. This left her with many small, open wounds and these were obviously at risk of infection.
S also refused to work with female members of staff at Claremont House and would only co-operate with the male staff members. With personal care, this was difficult.
After months of regular key working sessions and by close joint working with Community Psychiatrists and specialist Nurses, S gradually became less and less anxious and her panic attacks started to subside.
By 2015, there was no need for incontinence pads, as after persistent training, S was now able to toilet herself, even throughout the night. And by building up her trust, she would now also allow a female staff member to support her with personal care needs, and have a male staff member as her key worker for the rest of the time.
By ensuring S was active and occupied throughout the day, there was also a noticeable reduction in her self harming behaviour. The picking and scratching at her skin gradually stopped and S’s wounds started to heal.
By 2016, the one to one support was also having a positive effect on S’s chronic fear of stairs and heights. When S was with staff at the Westfield shopping centre, she was able to use the escalators for the first time. S now has no problem with stairs and no fear of heights. She has even managed to go horse riding and was able to sit high up on a very big horse.
S’s confidence outside of the scheme has grown immensely, and as a result she has been able to go out bowling, to the cinema and on country walks. S has also recently completed several courses at the Waltham Forest Learning Centre in Art, Computing and Gardening.
S’s family have always been very close to her and they have always been actively involved in her care. S has made such fantastic progress at Claremont House, that she is now able to join her family for holidays in Cornwall and also can spend time with them over the Christmas period. S’s fear and anxiety is under control and she is now able to live a full and active life.