On my first day at the service in December 2016 I met all the people who live here and after reading the support plans, I was asked to support Tony with his personal care. Tony does not use much verbal communication, but that didn’t matter at all as we struck a bond from the word go and that has got stronger as the months have gone by.
When we are together, I do find that I am constantly talking to him, as Tony has tunnel vision and sees very little; so as I am walking with Tony I’m telling him what sort of floor he is walking on or going to walk on, if we are turning left, right or going up or down, and this has increased his independence, confidence and self-esteem.
If Tony is anxious he seeks out my support and we sit at the table and talk. Tony likes to seek physical reassurance by stroking my hand and I reciprocate; this use of the facilitation skill touch really seems to develop a therapeutic rapport. We like to listen to music together, with Tony’s sensory mood lights on and I feel this has all supported the development of Tony’s commutation skills.
On one occasion, when having dinner out, I asked Tony what he would like to do afterwards. He decided to go for a walk and then go to LOOK at the ferry boats. The smile on his face was magical and he walked out of the pub so fast holding on to my arm: I knew this was all his choice.
We didn’t just look at the ferry boats that day, oh no, we went on the ferry as Tony was so excited. When we arrived, there was a woman on the ferry with her son, who also has leaning difficulties. Out of nowhere she came up to me and said “keep up the good work”: you never know who is watching you!
Tony and I work well together. He lets me know what his needs are or what he wants and then we action these together. I would very much like to develop both Tony’s and my skills as we continue to learn together.