Mental health problems are a common thread amongst many of BHT Sussex’s clients and we have a range of specialist mental health services, including the Archway Project in Hove.
Simon moved into the Archway Project in June 2018, following a 10 year stay at another registered care home.
Before Simon moved to Archway he had lived in a registered care home for 10 years and his referral paperwork suggested someone who had become institutionalised; he did not socialise with other residents, had minimal interaction with staff, ate all of his dinners in his room, and relied on staff to cook for him and do his laundry. He expressed irritability when prompted to tend to his personal hygiene and expected staff to make cups of tea for him. He would not use a front door key and expected staff to let him into his home.
Since moving to Archway Simon has shown a marked change. He is now sitting down to dinner with other residents, joining in with walks, games of croquet, trips to cafés and craft activities. The way he has engaged with these activities has pleasantly surprised everyone, and Simon has shown himself to be much more independent than the person he was described as on paper.
With the support of staff at Archway he has built up his activities of daily living and now cooks a weekly communal meal for the house. He is getting used to making his own cups of tea or getting snacks from the cupboard, though it has taken him some time to realise that he does not need permission to access these.
It has been rewarding for everyone to watch him increase in confidence and treat his house like a home, show more independence, and increase his social networks. He particularly likes that there is a house cat and enjoys her company.
Simon has used staff support to engage better than ever with health professionals in all areas of his physical and mental health. He is now receiving more focused medical help related to his diabetes, foot care and dentistry – he has had a health MOT and says he is feeling much better for it.
Simon’s experience of Asperger’s Syndrome can cause him to feel a sensory overload when overstimulated by certain noises, smells and sounds, but he has flourished in the quieter setting of Sackville Gardens. With the sensitive approach that the staff team and other residents have taken, he seems to be coming out of his shell both in and out of the house – and now with his own front door key!