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Zena’s Case – an example of when support is focused on the person.

Zena has finally got control of her life! How do we know? She uses few words. Her behaviour speaks volumes.

We know from a multitude of sources; she smiles more. Her challenging behaviour – hitting, self abuse, vomiting, screaming just a few examples, has really reduced and stayed reduced. We know because we measure it and adjust her support when it increases – it’s her telling us it’s not right. We know it because the people around her tell us. Not just us, but other people who work with her. Not just people who work with her, but her sister and her sister’s children, her neighbours, her friends.

We know that she loves her flat as she spent a year looking at flats before she bought a share in this one with a shared ownership mortgage that we found out about, and her screaming and vomiting have disappeared now. We know that she challenges less than when she lived with Helen but she still enjoys seeing her because she smiles, calls her name and doesn’t need to challenge when she’s with her because she comes home to her own place. We wish we’d got her a flat of her own earlier but leaving her service with a void would have been very hard for us.

We know because when she broke her leg recently, she coped really well with a plaster and a wheelchair and it hasn’t stopped her doing things. In the past illness would be traumatic and sometimes mean she was sectioned.

We know she controls who her support staff are. We see when she challenges and who she does most things with and her family helps her and us to work out the best staff matches for her. As a result, her staff stick with her and don’t reject her. They know what works for her and we see her more connected with her neighbours, her family and her friends.