Let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Alan O’Grady, I am 47 years old. In 2010 I suffered a left frontal intracranial haemorrhage, which left me with a brain injury.
This affected my mobility, speech and memory. I relied on my electric wheelchair to mobilise and I could only stand for a few minutes using a Zimmer frame. I found verbal communication difficult, needed incontinence products all times and relied on staff to assist me with personal care, dressing and all aspects of my daily living. I was low mood and lacked confidence.
I moved to Maeres house in 2013, where I was assessed by the physio, occupational therapist and speech and language therapist. They put guidelines in place for the staff to follow to help bring me forward. I was appointed a key-worker and a therapy co-ordinator who, with my input, put a daily structure in place to help with my orientation and routine.
I had GAS GOALS to work on to achieve. With repetition, practice, persistence and consistency from the staff team I was able to achieve my goals. My confidence began to build and my mood was lifted. Each month my goals were amended to allow me to progress. Slowly but surely my independence grew.
Now I manage all aspects of my personal care and dressing and only have staff with me in case I need prompts. I no longer sit in my wheelchair all day. I use my stick to walk; I have even walked up and down the stairs with help from the physio. I use a perching stool to prepare meals and hot drinks and I sit on a dining room chair for part of my day. I use the toilet independently and no longer need incontinence products during the day time. My speech is better and my right sided weakness has improved. I manage my own money when shopping and I can even send emails!
I will shortly be moving to a new placement, as I have reached my full potential at Maeres House. I am looking forward to moving, as I will be given the opportunity to develop my skills further and learn new ones.
I will be sad to leave as I have come a long way in the past four years. I have enjoyed an excellent relationship with staff and service users. They think I’m an ‘alright guy’. I hope to stay in touch and report back on my future achievements. It has been a pleasure to share my story with you. I hope it serves as inspiration to others, THANK YOU!