Today is the National Housing Federations (NHF) Starts at Home Day. The day celebrates the value of care and support services and the difference that having a safe and secure place to call home can make to people’s lives.
At GreenSquareAccord we offer care and support services, including residential care and support, supported living, extra care schemes, community support and care in your own home.
To mark Starts at Home Day today we're sharing a story of one of our customers who will never forget the input and support he had from colleagues at our Victoria Court nursing home which provides care, rehabilitation and resettlement for people aged between 16-65 who have mental health needs.
M was a 26-year-old man living at Victoria Court. He was referred for a stepdown placement following numerous inpatient admissions to various psychiatric hospitals and services. The stepdown placement is a 12-week placement designed as an intermediate placement. This can be either their own accommodation, or supported accommodation, dependent on their needs. M stayed in Victoria Court over this time due to the complexities of his circumstances.
He had a diagnosis of emotional dysregulation, bi-polar disorder, suicidal ideation and extensive use of drugs. He had attempted to self-harm and was very low in mood and presentation.
He became hostile and agitated if staff tried to engage with him. He began to decline his medication and refused to see his care coordinator and other health professionals involved in his care. He also declined any help or support from staff despite being offered one-to-one time to talk and offload and discuss any negative thoughts and feelings.
Staff continued to gently encourage and prompt M to talk, looking at speaking to him in quieter times, with fewer people present, as this seemed to be a trigger for him. This appeared to be a positive step, and he began to discuss things, especially about his interests, hobbies, or activities that he liked. He told staff that he liked going on long walks and trekking, which he expressed that he found therapeutic, and helped him to ‘feel better’ in his mood and thoughts.
Over time, staff offered to accompany him on walks, and encouraged him to look at routes on maps and local areas that he would like to go to on a walk. During the walks, he began to open up about his life and historic life events that had impacted upon his mental health.
He began to have a visiting psychologist every fortnight, who would go on walks with him, and to further offer him therapeutic interventions, and management of his emotions and thoughts.
He became calmer and less agitated and appeared to become positive about future goals and things he wanted to achieve. He started to participate and engage with staff and activities, such as helping with cleaning, and doing shopping. He also befriended other customers and spent time socialising with them. He said that he felt his mental and physical health had improved.
Within three months of engaging with staff, and his multi-disciplinary team, he moved into his own flat, within a supported living scheme. Floating support was put in place for as long as he needed, by the social worker, and he moved out of Victoria Court. He kept in touch weekly after moving out, and his social worker informed staff that he was progressing very well in the accommodation and in the wider community. He was also taking his medication as prescribed and had made friends.
He called Victoria Court around six months after moving to thank the staff for their help and support, and to say that he was now volunteering with a local electrician/ builder to gain skills, knowledge and to learn more about this sector, with a view to eventually enrolling to get onto a course or apprenticeship.
He said: “I felt the Victoria Court staff helped me to start a new chapter in my life and I will never forget the input and support from the service.”
Find out more about our care and support services here.