It was the start of a new chapter for Alex* when he moved into one of our residential homes. His complex health needs mean he uses a specialist chair plus oxygen and suction equipment to help with his breathing. In addition, he has complex epilepsy, which was significantly impacting his quality of life.
Before the move, Alex, who is in his 20s, lived at home. A thorough handover and support plan ensured that Alex’s new Support Workers were fully aware of his needs. They were fully trained and prepared to support his severe epilepsy which had led to 20-30 seizures daily, with frequent hospital visits and emergency medication.
The team observed that Alex spent a lot of time sleeping with no clear difference between day and night. This was something they were keen to explore further. However, adapting to unfamiliar surroundings can require a huge adjustment, and they wanted to let Alex settle into his new environment as smoothly as possible.
After six months, the team supporting Alex started to work together to create a more distinct day and night programme for him. The effect of this on Alex’s seizures has been extraordinary. Although his medication has remained the same, the seizures have gradually reduced to 2-3 a week – a reduction of around 98%. In the last six months, Alex has had only two hospital visits, and support team members have not needed to give him emergency epilepsy medication at all.
During the day, he is now up and doing things together with Support Workers, wherever possible. Each day, Alex has 1-1 support to take part in activities – he loves using the sensory room and is able to enjoy time at a local day centre. He also enjoys exploring tactile materials and objects. He is encouraged to participate in activities with others in his house when he wants to, but he enjoys watching and listening to team members actively involved in arts and crafts or making music.
Tired from his day’s stimulation, Alex also sleeps more peacefully at night.
*Name has been changed to preserve anonymity