Ross moved into Linden Cottage, our residential care home in East Sussex, just a few months ago after leaving the care of children services. The transition between children’s and adults’ social care can be very challenging, both for families and the people we support. It was a huge life change for Ross, adjusting to a new home, new people and new faces but in a short time he’s settled really well and started to develop some new skills.
“To help him settle in, we’ve had fantastic support from his family and we’re able to talk to them regularly about his support needs. It is so important to work in partnership with families, especially in the early days when we are still getting to know someone. Obviously, his family know everything about him so they can help us adapt our support plans to better suit Ross.
“Our aim, when someone comes to us from children’s services, is to focus on developing their skills and enabling their independence, giving them more choice and control in their adult lives.
“When Ross first moved in, he hadn’t been drinking orally for some time, getting most of his liquids through peg feeding and so that was really one of the first things we tried with him. We patiently offered him a drink every day for around six weeks, and he eventually accepted. He doesn’t accept a drink every time, but we continue to offer it to make sure he’s still learning that skill to be able to drink orally.
“We’re also starting the process of re-teaching Ross how to use his assistive switches on his wheelchair. Ross has two buttons that move forward or left. He’s having some fun with us at the moment, where he moves his hand over the buttons, looks at you, smiles and moves his hand away, so, again it’s about being patient but persistent with him. It will benefit him hugely having that control about where he is in the house and being able to move around independently.
“Ross really likes anything sensory, lights, sounds and touch, so a lot of the cooking and activities that we do Ross likes to put his hands in and have a good feel around.
“Over the next three months, our plan for Ross is to support him using his switches on his wheelchair. Even if it’s just for a couple of seconds, it means we’re moving in the right direction to get him using it more. Our six-month plan is getting him using it every day, to support him to back swimming which is really good physio exercise for him, and taking him to watch Brighton play football.”