When Caroline moved into Cloverdale House in March she was wheelchair-bound and unable to stand at all, but after an amazing team effort from the support staff at Cloverdale, the involvement of some dedicated therapists, and a good deal of determination on Caroline’s part, she is now back on her feet and going from strength to strength.
Service Manager, Trevor Wilcox, said: “When Caroline moved in she was very reserved and anxious, and the history from her previous home was unclear as to why exactly Caroline was unable to walk.
“Initially she was not use to using a hoist and found it scary. She also disliked the shower and had communications difficulties which resulted in her becoming frustrated at times.”
As they got to know Caroline better, Trevor and his team developed a strategy to motivate her and help improve her quality of life, including inspiring confidence in using the hoist by giving her a certificate for ‘Excellent Use,’ aided by support from an occupational therapist.
The support workers at Cloverdale House worked hard to interpret Caroline’s speech and can now appreciate her fabulous sense of humour.
Trevor said: “She’s developed a real bond with us, and is relaxed and even quite extrovert within the home.
“And, most excitingly, after a period of time staff noticed Caroline was able to stand, and at times got herself into bed.
“She started crossing her legs in her chair demonstrating greater strength. With the encouragement and praise from her support workers, she gradually started to walk with two members of staff, one to support and the other behind Caroline with her wheelchair.
“We were amazed at the distances Caroline was able to walk and the movement within her legs, so we contacted a physiotherapist who has been able to support her to walk around our garden and demonstrated some simple exercises that could help develop the strength and mobility in her legs.
A special frame has now been ordered for Caroline with a seat and brakes, delivery of which is expected shortly. She is very excited at the prospect of walking, continuing to make progress with the help of her physiotherapist and her support workers, and looking forward to the day when she’ll be able to dance the night away without the use of her chair.
Trevor said: “This kind of support is typical of the person-centred care that we give at our service. Our underlying philosophy is about doing things with people, rather than ‘to’ them.
Cloverdale House is two minutes’ walk from the sea front in Hove, is close to the town’s shops, library, cafes, pubs, restaurants, and has good bus and train access.