Transforming Sheila's way of life for the better

Sheila was born in 1951 and diagnosed with learning disabilities along with epilepsy. Sheila grew up living with her mum, dad and brother, Barry, in East London. Her auntie Doreen also played a big role in her life.

Life was not always easy for Sheila's parents due to her complex needs, non-verbal communication and increasingly challenging behaviour. This resulted in Sheila going in for a long stay at a hospital in Essex during her 20’s where she spent almost 16 years of her adult life. After the hospital closed its doors in 1994, Sheila moved into a Voyage Care residential home in Romford where her life instantly changed for the better.

As soon as Sheila arrived at the home, she did not want to leave! Doreen and Barry along with the support workers began to see a rapid transformation in Sheila. Everyone watched in amazement as she developed as a person and as an individual in her own right.

One of the biggest differences they saw almost immediately was the reduction in Sheila’s challenging behaviours, resulting in arrangements being made for Sheila to go home and visit her Dad every Saturday. Sheila’s Dad would be waiting at the door with a big cup of tea and a bag of sweets – Sheila loved it!

Although Sheila had become a happier person since arriving at the home, the support team at were still fully aware of the complex care Sheila required, especially due to her severe epilepsy. They had always been very conscious of this area of support which is essential to Sheila’s health and wellbeing.

Sheila’s seizures began to occur every 6-8 weeks, meaning Sheila became a regular visitor to the local hospital. This saw Sheila become more anxious and distressed. It became evident that the rescue medication was not as effective as it once was, and after a prolonged episode of seizures Sheila was admitted to Queens’s hospital earlier this year.

Following this, a meeting took place to discuss the current plan of administering Sheila’s medication. The home manager asked if there was something more suitable available for Sheila to take on a regular basis to possibly minimise the necessity of Sheila requiring medical intervention. With the full support of Sheila's family, the medical team at the hospital along with the epilepsy specialist nurse, a change was finally made to Sheila’s daily medication.

Sheila has now been seizure free for a period of 9 months and appears to be more relaxed, with an improvement in her appetite. Her quality of life has increased immensely since the introduction of the new daily medication and Sheila’s family continuously comment on how great the care and support Sheila receives is.