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Reclaiming my independence after a care home: Desiree starts driving again

Desiree has gone from live-in to visiting care

For the lovely Desiree, who lives in Monmouthshire, leaving a care home and getting back to her home comforts was something she was desperate to do. But in order for that to happen, she needed to have some additional support in place.

Ever eager to help – and with the added challenge of the care home manager saying a live-in carer would “never cope” with Desiree – Wendy Sear, Live-in Care Manager for South Wales and Hereford, began searching for that special carer who would be able to help Desiree return home.

First steps to returning home

Desiree is a sociable person. Despite experiencing depression and having a diagnosis of early stage dementia, she has always loved being around other people and getting out and about with her friends.

Having been in a care home for some time, Desiree was understandably anxious about leaving – even though it was something she really wanted to do. Wendy realised that Desiree’s new carer would need to give her a lot of encouragement and emotional support.

“I managed to find the perfect carer for Desiree in Tina,” Wendy shared proudly. “She just fit the bill perfectly.

“The challenge then was getting Desiree’s house ready for her to move into. Within a week, Desiree had new furniture and all of her belongings moved in – a great effort by the entire family!”

Settling in at home

Desiree is settling in at home with live-in care

Just like with any new relationship, Desiree and Tina (pictured here on the right) took a bit of time to get used to one another. However, today the two of them have established an amazing bond.

With her carer there to help when needed, Desiree makes all of her own meals, something she really loves to do, and handles most of her day-to-day activities independently. She also loves to have a good chat with Tina, about any topic that takes her interest, which Tina enjoys just as much.

“The transformation in Desiree has been amazing to see,” Wendy explained, clearly delighted with how well Desiree has progressed. “You can tell she’s a lot happier and a lot calmer about the future now that she’s back living at home – she’s really gone from strength to strength.”

Encouragement to get back on the road

Desiree loves to drive, and missed being able to this while in the care home. She enjoyed going for a long road trip and desperately wanted to do this again.

Though Tina was always happy to take Desiree out, she noticed how much getting back on the road and driving again would mean to her. At the start of 2018, the two of them looked into the possibility of getting a psychological driving test arranged for Desiree, which she passed with flying colours.

This was a huge achievement for Desiree and one that Tina and Wendy were delighted to see her reach. Now, armed with the confidence to get back behind the wheel again, Desiree is looking forward to her on-the-road assessment later this year.

“Seeing Desiree’s face light up when she passed the first test was just beautiful,” Wendy said with a proud gleam in her eye. “We can’t wait until she’s back on the road and taking people out on an adventure. For her to be able to do this is testament to who Desiree is as a person – we couldn’t be prouder of her!”

The best compliment a carer can have

Desiree is more confident because of her carer's support

Such is the phenomenal transformation in Desiree’s wellbeing that she is now exploring switching from Tina’s 24-hour support to regular drop-in visits. And, with a team of carers just a short distance away in Newport & Caldicot, Wendy is confident that this is the right thing to do – for Desiree to continue living at home, independently and happily.

“From where Desiree is now compared to when I first saw her in the care home is nothing short of inspirational,” Wendy explained.

“The manager at the care home said it will not work with Desiree going home as the carer would never cope with her – I’m delighted to say that she proved them wrong!”

Flexible care, tailored to your needs

If you know someone who, like Desiree, is keen to get back to the familiar comforts of their own home, our carers are here to make it happen. Care can, in some instances, be arranged to start in as little as 24 hours.

Find out more about the real alternative to care homes or get in touch with our team on 0808 274 7734 to discuss your needs.

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