Henry’s story of intensive short-term rehab
With the help and support of the team at Richardson Care, Henry* has transformed his life in just 12 weeks; from being bed-bound to living in his own flat.
When we first met Henry, he had been in hospital for three months after being admitted due to alcohol abuse. Prior to that, he had been homeless and living in a tent on an industrial estate.
Henry was bed-bound, having lost the use of his legs. He was unable to stand or weight-bear and was also unable to use his hands. He was very low in mood, and felt that no-one was helping him. He had no motivation and felt that he didn’t have enough physio input.
We completed his assessment and it was agreed that he would have a 12-week placement at Richardson Care with intensive physiotherapy. He was to be admitted to The Coach House, a specialist home for adults with acquired brain injuries and physical disabilities.
Before Henry arrived at The Coach House, he felt overwhelmed and that he didn’t know what was happening. His life felt out of his control. He didn’t have a diagnosis of brain injury and didn’t know what to expect. He was worried about how the other residents would behave. He was a young man in his early forties and needed help with all his personal care. He was unable to do anything for himself, he couldn’t even hold a cup.
When Henry was admitted, the staff at The Coach House worked really hard to settle him in and make him feel welcome. They reassured him, explaining what he could expect from the other residents, and how everyone was different; they were all individuals with different needs, preferences and personalities. The staff were kind, caring and supportive so Henry felt safe from the day that he arrived.
Henry had a beautiful, spacious room of his own with an ensuite shower room and its own patio area. Straight away the care staff bought a bottle with a straw so Henry was able to drink by himself. He started to become positive and his confidence slowly came back. He also met the other residents and started to build relationships with them.
Chartered Physiotherapist, Guy Stewart, worked intensively with Henry to help him regain the use of legs and to challenge his negative beliefs about his abilities.
Henry wasn’t very motivated with his first physio session but Guy made him feel at ease and Henry worked very hard. Initially, Henry felt that he would never get the use of his legs back. Progress was slow, and he often felt frustrated, but he became stronger and stronger. You could see the change in him week by week.
After a couple of weeks Henry changed his wheel chair and could self-propel. It gave him a real boost; it was evident how happy he was. This step to becoming more independent was massive. It meant he had more control and choice in his everyday life.
Henry began to feel really good about himself.
Henry pushed himself and spent an hour every day in a frame that supported him to stand to help strengthen his legs.
Initially, Henry needed a hoist to get out of bed and into the shower. By the end of the 12 weeks, he could walk with a Zimmer frame with support, shower himself and take himself to the toilet, he could also get in and out of bed.
Henry started to build relationships with every service user in the home. He loved talking to everybody and this had a really positive impact on him. He understood just how much the other residents enjoyed it too. This made it even more rewarding and helped his self-esteem. He got on really well with one guy in particular and they’d go out every day for a coffee and a chat. It was great to see them both grow as a result.
Henry had a special bond with a lady who loved to play dominos. She taught him how to play and they had a running competition, playing every day.
On one occasion, he went to visit an airfield with another service user who told him all about his life before he came to The Coach House.
In the short time that Henry was at The Coach House, he made a positive impact on everyone he met. He had good relationships with the support staff, often laughing and joking.
Henry moved out to an independent flat with lots of support. We’re proud of the work that we did with Henry, it’s a job well done.
He touched the lives of the people in the home and everyone was very sad to see him leave. There were lots of tears, but Henry had been an inspiration to the other residents. We held a party for him and his best friend in the home made a lovely speech. We will all miss Henry greatly and wish him all the very best in his new home.
*We have changed the name of the service user to retain his anonymity