Life has changed immeasurably for Helen, who moved into FitzRoy’s residential care home in Liss over three years ago.
When Helen first came to FitzRoy she was very withdrawn and would only communicate using communication technology. However, as time went by and staff spent more time with Helen, she started to trust them more and gradually began to gain confidence. She now has the confidence not to use the technology, she prefers to talk.
Helen was diagnosed with young person’s Parkinson’s which meant that over the years her mobility decreased so much that now she only uses a wheelchair. With her newfound confidence, Helen was able to tell staff about her dream to walk again.
Mandy Lashbrook, Service Manager, told us about Helen’s journey onto her feet.
Helen is in her 20’s with housemates who are a similar age. Two of her housemates walk independently around their home and Helen wanted to do the same, gaining the same independence that they have.
When Helen started telling us of her dream to walk we got in touch with the learning disability team who sent a physiotherapist to see Helen. The physio gave Helen some exercises to try and strengthen her muscles and give her a chance to walk again. She had been doing this for a little while before we tried her in a hydrotherapy pool.
As she had done a lot of hard work already, Helen’s muscles were strong enough in the water to walk the entire length of the pool with just a few floatation aids. She was absolutely over the moon. Helen couldn’t believe after all this time she was able to walk again and she was beaming from ear to ear.
Every time we talk about walking Helen’s face lights up. She doesn’t need to say a word to tell us how much this is enhancing her life. She is now going to visit the hydrotherapy pool fortnightly, and the learning disability team are looking at equipment that will allow Helen to walk in her own home one day. They have already introduced a new wheelchair, which Helen can propel herself from and is already enhancing her independence.â
What an amazing transformation which we hope continues to give Helen greater independence.