Sean’s road to recovery and independence

Sean is a person we support at Devonshire House in Manchester. Devonshire House is our flagship brain injury rehabilitation service that opened in January 2021. With Sean preparing to move back home this month, he is our first successful brain rehabilitation placement since Devonshire House opened!

Meet Sean

Sean is an individual who loves to cook, has a great sense of humor and enjoys a good book by William S. Burroughs. After Sean was diagnosed with Korsakoff’s syndrome, a chronic memory disorder, he began his brain rehabilitation journey in the active rehabilitation part of Devonshire House.

The main symptoms of Korsakoff’s syndrome include confusion and memory loss. This resulted in Sean having no understanding of his condition, or how it affected him. This led to Sean struggling with anxiety.

Building trust

Here at Devonshire House, there is 24-hour support from our highly trained and specifically recruited team. This support was vital to helping Sean’s brain rehabilitation journey. Devonshire House supports individuals, like Sean, to take control of their lives after brain injury and regain independence through detailed support plans and techniques.

One of these techniques included a memory book that Sean kept throughout his stay at Devonshire House to help him with his memory impairments. Although the team initially planned to review the book each day with Sean, we soon realised that Sean is a private person who didn’t want his entries to be seen by others. We fully respected his decision and his privacy was always maintained. Instead, we encouraged Sean to keep the memory book in his possession. This helped Sean to develop a positive and trusting relationship with the team, and he shared many memory book entries with them in his own time.

Through therapy sessions and 1:1 work with staff, Sean began to understand his diagnosis and recall his diagnosis to staff. This was an important step because it helped Sean to understand his memory impairments. When Sean first joined Devonshire House, he was extremely anxious. Now, through working with team and developing coping strategies, Sean can manage this anxiety better. The team have noticed that he is much more settled and confident within himself.

Respecting boundaries

We worked with Sean at each stage of his rehabilitation, respecting his boundaries and moving at his own pace. For example, the team offered Sean support within various areas but also created a safe space where Sean could reach out when he felt it was necessary. This gave Sean the independence and choice to access support when he initiated it, without it feeling like an obligation. In turn, this reinforced his dignity and furthered his achievements.

In May, Sean moved to one of our transitional flats at Devonshire House. These transitional flats are the next step towards community living and the last stage before leaving Devonshire House. With their own entrance, individuals living in these flats require less support and are focused on building their independent living skills. This was a positive time for Sean because it was a testament to just how far he had progressed. Sean told us, “It has given me so much independence and allowed me to express myself. In my flat I have a kitchen, so I can continue to cook . There is space for me to relax and read, which I really enjoy.”

Looking forward

Sean’s journey has grown from strength to strength over this year and now he is excited to move back home!

Throughout his stay at Devonshire House, Sean’s family made regular trips to visit, which kept him motivated and committed to increasing his independence. He tells us that he’s really looking forward to continuing his positive relationship with his grandchildren in particular.

Previously, Sean also enjoyed his job at a local plumber merchants, so getting back to work is next on his goal list! Those that have supported Sean at Devonshire House have all noticed just how determined he is to continue achieving his goals and ambitions for the future.

Learn more about Devonshire House

Located in Ardwick, Manchester, Devonshire House is a purpose-built 24-bed service split into three distinct wings. Each wing of the service has its own purpose, designed to support people through their rehabilitation journey. We currently have several vacant ground-floor bedrooms in our active rehabilitation part of the service. To find out more, visit our Devonshire House service page.

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