Mike’s Story – Pool Cottage

October 25, 2017

Eighteen months ago, in his mid-forties, Mike enjoyed life living at home with his sister, Maggie and brother-in-law, Selwyn. Fully mobile his learning disability wasn’t a barrier to him having employment and an active social life. However in August 2016 he suffered a Stroke which saw him hospitalised in two different locations for a year having lost mobility in his left hand side. This life changing event resulted in Mike being wheelchair bound, something which he has struggled to cope with. During this period he lost his appetite and lost over six stone in weight.

Once well enough Mike returned to his home with Maggie and Selwyn providing much needed care and support. Adjustments had to be made in the house to meet Mike’s changed needs and mobility constraints, including a downstairs room being converted into a bedroom for Mike as climbing the stairs and accessing that area was not possible in his wheelchair. Mike craved for his original room and his behaviours based on this frustration became increasingly challenging to manage whereby Mike’s recovery and wellbeing were being hindered. Personal care was also becoming an issue and what are extremely loving and positive relationships were being pushed to their boundaries.

Maggie, Selwyn and Mike sought advice on how to gain the best environment and opportunities in which Mike could continue to recover and thrive from the local LD Team. It was suggested that Pool Cottage may represent an ideal service which could provide the desired support and environment. With a skilled team and accommodation fit for purpose Pool Cottage were invited to assess Mike one Friday in mid-March 2017, whilst Mike was receiving respite care. By the following Thursday all assessments had been completed, everything agreed and Mike moved into Pool Cottage. Maggie and Selwyn whilst concerned and disappointed that Pool Cottage was a three hour drive away from them made the journey to visit Mike on the Friday to make sure he was settling and happy.

Having lived at Pool Cottage for some seven months now, Mike is beginning to show signs of improved wellbeing and physical recovery. He has gained one stone in weight and enjoys going shopping, buying magazines, eating out and taking the occasional trip on the bus. Personal care giving had been a challenge but as the team have worked exceptionally hard to grow a very positive and trusting relationship with Mike, this too is improving. None of these milestones have been easy to achieve but with support and encouragement from the team and his family Mike continues to make progress month on month.

The team have ensured that Mike has continued to receive support from the local LD Team and together they have ensured Mike receives regular physio. He has begun to lift and grip lighter items with his left hand and they are hopeful that they will see improvements in Mike’s mobility as they begin work with him using a frame.

Whilst he previously would have enjoyed gaming and watching TV he now prefers to read his magazines and enjoy a quieter life. Preferring plenty of space around him Mike looked forward to the annual garden party that had been organised in the summer. His family joined him for the day, including his brother Brian who he had not seen for a while. All remarked on how well Mike is doing and how all the good the support that he receives is making a big difference. Despite the long journey the family are all agreed that they would not wish for Mike to be anywhere else, as it is evident that each time they visit challenges are being overcome by both Mike and the team to achieve the best outcomes possible.