Shirley’s new lease of life is helping her achieve her goals

Shirley lives at one of our supported living properties in Norfolk. She became unwell in November 2018. She was unable to walk, move her arms away from her chest and was sometimes unable to speak. Shirley also lost a lot of weight due to severe fatigue.

In September of 2020, Shirley required a routine biopsy on her leg. She attended the biopsy and returned home, but within a week she was showing signs of an infection. Shirley was readmitted to hospital and treated for the infection. Whilst she was in hospital, she was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia. Shirley had to make a few trips back and forth from the hospital to be treated. Shirley was finally able to return home to the service.

Thinking outside the box with physiotherapy

Since returning to the service, Shirley was introduced to a new way of living by staff. Her new routine was based around her health and specific needs. “Staff sourced adapted pens, putty, a cycling machine, adapted cultural and crockery, however Shirley was adamant to improve so she didn’t need to use them!” Chloe, Field Support Supervisor, told us.

Staff got to work with Shirley to ensure she was getting better. They introduced whoopee cushions to make Shirley’s physiotherapy more fun! She would reach or kick the cushion to make the sound. She also had stress balls that she could squash to help build up her strength. Chloe explained, “Staff complete regular physiotherapy, which they make fun, so Shirley doesn’t realise she’s exercising.”

Overcoming challenges

The biggest challenge for staff during this time was Shirley’s sleeping pattern. It had been disrupted while she had been in hospital. The change in sleep pattern was causing Shirley emotional distress. “We overcame this by encouraging Shirley to get out of bed during the day, so she could differentiate between day and night.” Chloe told us.

Shirley’s got her fight back!

Shirley and her favourite doll, complete with mask!

Being able to achieve goals like completing physiotherapy and fixing her sleeping pattern makes Shirley happier and proud. “She’s found a new lease of life and has got her fight back, nothing can deter her from improving! The people we support are fighters, they always surprise you.” Chloe told us.

“Being able to do more for myself makes me happy.” Shirley explained. We asked her what her next goal is. “I’d like to walk again. I’d also like to start eating soft food instead of pureed.” Knowing Shirley’s determination, she’ll be working towards those goals in no time!

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Shirley’s new lease of life is helping her achieve her goals
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