Read Felicity's story about being a live-in carer
Felicity and Sharon have been a team for some time now. Together they are busy making sure that Sharon, who has cerebral palsy and Asperger’s syndrome, can feel confident about living independently.
Felicity’s assistance and companionship enables Sharon to keep up with her busy social life, and over the past few months, she has been excited to see Sharon’s self-belief and involvement developing quickly. Read on to find out what Felicity has to say about her experiences with Sharon and how they fit into each others’ lives.
I first began caring as a gateway to nursing – but nine years later I’m still here because I enjoy it so much! It’s such a pleasure to see how my help improves another person’s quality of life. I support Sharon, who’s recently moved into her new home. When I first came to care for Sharon, she was still in the early stages of transitioning into her new lifestyle in her bungalow. Sharon was very much excited and happy with the change, but understandably adjusting to her new way of life was proving a challenge.
Even so, as time has passed Sharon has grown more independent, self-assured, and motivated, which is fantastic to see. There are still obstacles that Sharon is working hard to overcome, but all in all I can see that Sharon’s quality of life has come along in leaps and bounds.
Although I have only known her for a few months, it’s clear from what Sharon’s family and friends say that her social life has improved greatly since moving away from home. I support her to continue to attend Day Services on a Monday and Thursday, something that was in place prior to her move and is especially important to her. Already Sharon has been able to get back in touch with an old friend she met there who she hadn’t seen for quite some time.
We don’t have any other set commitments for the rest of the week – Sharon really appreciates the freedom of being able to choose what she does day to day.
There’s so much that Sharon enjoys, and her motability vehicle means that she has the increased freedom and independence to do it all: we’ve been able to accept invitations to see family members; regularly get into town to visit the shops and have a walk around; and go on trips to the castle grounds. Debbie, Sharon’s sister, often joins us. And of course, we go to the library so Sharon can choose her audiobooks.
Sharon has a loving, caring, and supportive family who live only a stone’s throw away from her new bungalow. They are a big part of Sharon’s life: her Mum, Dad, and sister all visit often, which is very reassuring for her. Her dad, Geoff, sometimes takes Sharon for a walk, and she reads with her mum Shirley. Sometimes they’ll listen to music together, or just sit and chat.
I know that participating in day-to-day tasks is something else that really makes Sharon happy. She likes to be involved in cooking, doing the dishes, and bringing the washing in off the line. I can really tell that completing these tasks gives Sharon a great sense of satisfaction, increasing her confidence and helping her feel at home in her new bungalow.
I’ve really noticed Sharon becoming less withdrawn and more interested in getting out and enjoying life – and her overall mood has improved tremendously. If such positive changes can be made in six months, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds!
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