Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Care home for young adults with complex needs celebrates first year

A groundbreaking care home providing a supportive living environment to young people with life-limiting conditions and complex needs is celebrating its first year of operation.

Number 92, a residential care home in Heaton Moor, Stockport, is operated by Francis House Families Ltd and is now the permanent residence of six young people who were previously cared for by their parents full-time.

The care home enables the young people to live in a domestic setting with others their own age whilst being cared for around the clock by a team of highly trained staff.

Dermot Murphy is the Registered Manager and has a passion for pioneering initiatives in social care and developing and improving services.

Care home for young adults with complex needs celebrates first year
Dermot Murphy outside 92 Barcicroft Road.

Dermot said:

“It’s been a remarkable achievement to get number 92 fully staffed and all the young people in. It’s a tremendously difficult transition for a young person to leave home where they have lived all their lives and move to be cared for by other people. We have received an awful lot of trust from the parents, and we are enormously grateful for that.

“We’ve managed to get to know each of the six young people as individuals as they moved in. It’s been a joy to see them develop, their personalities blossom, and to see most of the families take up opportunities that weren’t available to them before because they’re not having to act as carers.

“The extent that it has changed those family’s lives has been remarkable.”

Fiona Ferguson’s daughter Elizabeth, aged 20, has Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and complex needs and has been attending Francis House Children’s Hospice for respite care for 19 years. She moved into number 92 in April 2023.

For the first couple of months, Fiona continued to take Elizabeth to and from college. Reassured with the progress the staff were making in caring for Elizabeth she soon felt able to let go.

Fiona said:

“I was very hands-on in the early days. It’s been nice that I’ve been able to take a big step back now. It didn’t take long for me to feel comfortable and relaxed enough to not have to think about Elizabeth’s care.

“It’s been a new experience for both Elizabeth and I, and she is getting to do things that I would never have dreamt of doing with her and she loves it. She’s living like a 20-year-old should, rather than with me. She gets choices and options now with the staff there. Her world has opened up to new experiences and she’s living with friends the same age.”

After 20 years of being a full-time carer, Fiona has now found a job that she loves and is working with adults with learning disabilities at a day centre.

She added:

“For me, I’ve got peace of mind which is my biggest takeaway and I know the care she gets is just exceptional. Elizabeth is in this house now where she’ll be forever more, and receive the best care that she can, and for me as her mum it’s just unbelievable.”

An open-door policy at the care home means parents can visit any time or simply call in for a chat with the staff. A team of 23 provide round-the-clock care with Angela Doyle as Clinical Lead.

Care home for young adults with complex needs celebrates first year
Angela Doyle.

Angela said:

“It’s going really well and from the parents’ perspective, they are starting to see a different side of their loved ones that they probably wouldn’t have seen before from a social engagement point of view.

“We’ve taken the young people out to a karaoke at a local pub and the community were really engaged in wanting them involved and up on the stage.

“Whenever we have opportunities that we come across, we’re pushing as hard as we can, and people are starting to identify what they can offer us.”

Trips to the barbers for haircuts and nails painted at the beauty salon are now possible thanks to the efforts of the staff who are keen to integrate the young people within the community and give them the full experience.

Angela concluded:

“The needs of the young people are complex and unique. We’re liaising with the colleges, and the local authorities, sourcing music therapy and other areas that possibly weren’t explored in the past. There is so much scope here now it is amazing.”

Income for the residential facility, operated by Francis House Families Ltd – a trading subsidiary of Francis House Family Trust the registered charity behind Francis House Children’s Hospice – comes from the individual residents Local Authority Care Budget. All young people can continue to receive respite care and symptom control at Francis House Children’s Hospice.

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