Billy, who lived at one of our homes in Merseyside, acquired his brain injury when he was involved in a road traffic accident in 2004.
When Billy first arrived at his residential home, he used a wheelchair and accessing the community independently seemed like a distant dream.
“It was difficult for Billy to visit the community on his own as he was not orientated to time or place and was very impulsive,” said Jane, Home Manager.
And it wasn’t just his physical and mental health that were affecting the 36-year-old.
“When Billy first moved into the home, he was very low and taking medication for depression and psychosis. Looking back he says, ‘I thought I would be in these places for the rest of my life and this made me feel so low I wanted to top myself’,” continued Jane.
With the help of Billy’s staff team, both his mental and physical health were addressed from day one of his rehabilitation journey.
“Billy’s drama therapist really helped him with his mental health, providing fantastic encouragement and support to make him feel better within himself,” said Jane.
Getting Billy back on his feet was a priority for both himself and his team. He began a programme of physiotherapy and daily exercises with specific equipment – and eventually Billy was able to get out of his chair. With lots of practice and encouragement, Billy was soon walking with just a frame!
Billy soon enrolled onto an active programme which taught him how to access the community safely. During this time his staff team supported him to grow in confidence and also helped him recognise how his behaviour was affecting himself and others.
Twelve months into the programme, Billy had learnt a lot of coping strategies, such as taking a walk when frustrated and counting to ten. Along with the amazing progress with his walking, Billy was able to access the community without support.
On New Year’s Eve 2016, Billy asked Jane a very important question.
“He asked me if he could retire his walking frame – he wanted me to pick it up before midnight and take it away. This meant no frame and no stick,” said Jane.
A year on, Billy has been walking without any assistance.
“Billy has had his ups and downs, as well as a few bumps and bruises on the way, but his determination is never wavered,” added Jane.
Billy is now settling into his own supported living flat.
“The process of helping Billy move into supported living began on day one of his rehabilitation. The focus has always been getting Billy into his own place,” said Jane.
Billy is now off all of his medication and after eight years is enjoying life in his new supported living home in Liverpool. This move has brought a significant cost saving of around £500 a week, with the aim of reducing his support hours gradually over time.
He told us: “I’ve gone from being suicidal to having my life back and a future. Even better than before the accident I have qualifications, friends, a new home all of my own and am looking for a partner to share my new life with.”