Charlie is a 34 year old adult who suffered meningitis in his mid 20s, resulting in him being brain damaged and effectively needing full time care. As he improved he was able to spend more time on his own and live independently with morning and evening care supervision. He had previously had a very active social life and been a musician. I was asked by his father to reintroduce an element of social activity and music into his life. This became monthly with weekend visits where he stayed with me in Bristol and I enabled him to visit his brother and young family and his friends This included evenings out to see live music and an active nightlife where he could see his favourite bands. Charlie had limited memory, he was able to do a certain amount of personal care but had to be reminded not to over eat and to take regular exercise.
I went to Ireland with Charlie for a 6 week break. We stayed with family friends so I was not completely responsible for Charlie 24/7 but for the majority of the stay I was his sole carer. One of the activities that he became very involved in was drawing. He developed an ability to concentrate for extended periods of time, drawing the dramatic landscapes in Ireland. Having such an intense time with Charlie meant I was able to consistently and constructively support his development and there was a noticeable improvement in his communication skills and personal care.
Over the 2 years that I was supporting Charlie I found it to be very enriching and encouraging to watch his continual development as he regained his personality and social interests.
I visit Jane and Ken at least once a week, to help with household duties and practical support, such as driving for shopping and hospital visits when family isn’t available. I make phone calls and help debunk some letters and paper work and official correspondence.
Pam and Bill, need a different kind of support as Pam has dementia. I’m working as a volunteer with Carers Trust, offering respite care for Bill. Mostly I just pop in for an hour or so once a week, giving Bill the chance to get out of the house on his own.
I’m not offering personal care at the moment, but I’m very willing to stay overnight and visit as a companion for regular respite care of emergency and temporary cover for extended periods of time.