Case Study: Supported Living
AT is a 28-year-old male with a learning disability. He currently resides in a supported living service where he is supported by staff with day-to-day activities such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, medication, wellbeing and managing and attending appointments. AT has an appointeeship for his finances due to having limited capacity in this area, support workers for the service support him to manage this side of his life. Early in 2020, AT expressed that he had a few goals:
- To become more confident with using money out in public
- To find volunteer work or a meaningful activity to engage in outside of his flat
- To have a weekly planner/schedule
In the past few years, AT has tried to engage with a number of potential volunteer or work activities such as Leeds Wood Recycling, Zest healthy eating, but very often he would lose interest quite quickly or his anxiety would become too much for him to attend regularly. He has therefore not had much of a schedule at all and wanted to implement one into his daily life.
Due to his anxiety, he had struggled to engage with health professionals outside of his own service in the past. He expressed a significant lack of interest in engaging with staff and would inform us that it was due to him having some bad experiences with local authority in the past. At the start of 2020 however, AT finally wanted to try and work with an Occupational Therapist to begin working on a plan to reach his goals. He used his time in isolation through lockdown to engage with the OT team in order to achieve some of his aspirations.
Gemma, the Occupational Therapist tailored a support package that really worked for AT. She listened to him and learned about his life and circumstances, she built an excellent rapport over the initial few weeks and from there, tailored a plan moving forward that would help him build a weekly schedule, build his confidence, and increase his independence in the areas that he wanted. The Gemma understood his need to be flexible and this helped to motivate AT into forming a daily structure and then this led into him sticking to appointments more regularly.
To support AT in becoming more confident in handling cash while he is out in public, Gemma provided a support worker to take him out shopping on a weekly basis. They would do a session via video call each week to practice counting different amounts of money in hypothetical situations and this hugely increased AT’s confidence. The support worker, Richard, got AT some fake cash and coins so that he could practice different scenarios before practicing his skills whilst out shopping.
Gemma helped AT by sending printable materials both to his key workers, managers, and himself. The materials were things like recipes, but also planners for AT to put up on his wall so that he could visualize his weekly activity plan. She also made sure to incorporate any opportunity for him to use his Alexa Echo to assist his schedule as this is something AT always expressed a great passion for.
AT’s confidence and motivation increased greatly throughout the sessions and this is still true now that his sessions have ended. He is more productive than before and he even exercises or at least leaves his flat more regularly than before which is having a positive knock on effect to his physical health.
His confidence with cash handling has increased however, he is still vulnerable when it comes to financial abuse and this is something he will need to always be mindful of.
AT was really pleased with the support provided by this team and has only positive things to say regarding the whole process.