Moving into a new home can be difficult. When Sam* moved into our specialist nursing care home, Wey House, in 2019 he found it tough. He was moving from a secure hospital placement, which wasn’t quite the right fit for him, due to his challenging behaviour. When he came to Wey House, Sam struggled to feel relaxed with staff, wanted to move to other locations and felt sad. It just didn’t feel like home to him.
Creating a routine
Sam has multiple sclerosis and an organic personality disorder. This meant we spent a long time getting to know what routine would suit him. For example, Sam prefers to always wake up naturally instead of having a time that the team would wake him up at. Routine support is important because it reduces triggers that aggravate his aggressive behaviour. It took roughly four to six months to really get to know Sam’s preferences, routines, wishes and include positive engagement to support his needs. We involved our behavioural specialist team when creating his person-centred care plan to ensure we meet his wellbeing outcomes.
To help Wey House feel more like home, we worked with Sam to paint his room to how it was at home. We added personal touches like his TV and found new curtains to match his furnishings. It is his private and personal place. When he first moved in, Sam described Wey House as a prison, but now he loves his spacious room and calls it his safe haven.
Being a part of the community
Over time, we encouraged Sam to start using his walker instead of his wheelchair, so he retained his independence and could control when he wanted to pop outside. Now he feels happier because he has independence and support to help him enjoy home life and access the community. He loves a drive to the beach for fish and chips, visiting local museums or a pint at the local pub. He even cooks in the occupational kitchen, whilst listening to his favourite bands on Alexa. We have seen Sam grow more confident and he enjoys chatting with his support worker!
Our team has worked hard over the past 18 months to build a relationship with Sam. He now, enjoys interacting with us and trusts us, which is so important for his development. He never says he hates us anymore, and we don’t hear verbally aggressive tones, which is a real achievement. He cracks a smile and laughs with the team, likes to chat with all residents and engages in home activities.
Because Sam now felt settled, he was able to progress to positive interactions with his daughter and other family members. This included family visits before the COVID-19 pandemic, and Skype calls during the pandemic. Moving into Wey House was the opportunity for Sam to find his safe haven and work towards living his best life.
We know that sometimes it takes a while to feel at home in a new place, but we’re here to support our residents to feel relaxed, safe and happy. By being patient and understanding of residents needs we can work with them and at their pace to help them toward independent living.
Wey House, our residential nursing home in Somerset, currently are looking for new housemates to join for their karaoke nights, impromptu water fights and much more. Read about Wey House.
Please note: This article is about events that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the safety measures based on Government advice during that specific time period. Please be assured that at all times, Voyage Care follows the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures to keep our staff and the people we support safe. To find out more about our COVID-19 safety precautions, please visit our COVID-19 resource area.
*Names have been changed for confidentiality.