Optalis - Choices for living

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Optalis services are supporting two generations of the same family, Chris and his daughter Sam

Chris’ story

Chris used to work as an engineer with a busy family life and an interest in fishing.

Following a stroke, Chris needed rehabilitation support, meaningful occupation and a social outlet.

Chris started attending Westmead Day Service in August 2016. At Westmead he enjoys pottery and photography classes.

He also receives physiotherapy and speech and language therapy input at Westmead. The physiotherapist has been helping with pain management and improving Chris’ mobility. The speech and language therapist has been helping Chris improve his communication and vocabulary base. When the support from the health professionals is withdrawn, the support team at Westmead will continue to follow his rehabilitation programme.

Chris has been receiving a small support package from Optalis for a few months, but he is already making progress. His family have noticed a positive change in him and say his confidence has increased. He is building trust in the Westmead support team and has started to develop friendships with fellow customers.

Sam’s story

Chris’s 24-year old daughter Sam has a learning disability and loves all things Disney. When she finished school, she was looking for a supportive environment where she could spend her time and continue her learning.

Sam attends the Wokingham Learning Disability Day Service, four days a week. She has a packed weekly programme, which builds on her interests and identified learning goals. Sam’s activities include swimming, sports, conservation, horticulture
and cooking.  These take place in local community facilities, including a local gym and country park.

Sam’s keyworker said, “It has been a pleasure seeing Sam flourish whilst attending the Day Service. She always arrives with a warm smile. At Growing Places she has got her own plot that she maintains independently. Throughout the year she seeds, grows and harvests a variety of vegetables…she should be really proud of herself.”

She also gets additional support from the Out and About Service from time to time. The flexibility of this service appeals to Sam and the fact that it means she can do an activity or supported outing in the evening.

In September, Sam moved into an Optalis Supported Living Service. She was keen to build on her independence by moving into her own place. The transition from the family home to her new accommodation was helped by the fact that she knew her new housemates; one of them was an old school friend.  

The manager of the Supported Living Service said, “The aim is to get Sam to a place where she is living with minimal support. She is definitely capable of this and is very motivated to learn which helps.We have a clear plan in place with her, which is about slowly withdrawing support in line with her skills development.”

Sam is proud of the progress she is making “(At home) I am learning to look after myself. I do my own washing and cooking and I am getting better at getting myself ready.”

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