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CASE STUDY

Our aim at SweetTree is to provide the kind of support that encourages people during rehabilitation and enables independence as much as possible. Sometimes this means that a client can return to living independently after a period of time and we believe that true success of fulfilling our mission comes when a client no longer needs our support.

Esther is a 91-year-old lady who now lives at home with her live-in carer and her beloved dog Lola. Just over a year ago Esther had a fall at home and dislocated her shoulder which meant she was unable to lift her arm at all. Whilst in hospital Esther’s wellbeing deteriorated quickly, desperately missing her home and Lola. She soon became confused and disorientated which greatly distressed and secluded her.

Esther’s family feared the worse about her future, but whilst Esther was in the hospital a friend recommended that they speak to SweetTree Home Care Services about the type of care that they could be provided to enable her to go back home. After a careful assessment of care needs and a discharge planning meeting by Sharon, one of SweetTree’s care managers, Esther’s discharge from hospital was planned with a live-in carer to help her get back home.

The live-in carer, Anna spent time with Esther in the hospital for a couple of days so they could get to know each other and for Anna to spend time with nurses, OT’s and Physiotherapists in the hospital to fully understand the work that they were doing with her. Esther was still quite confused and distressed in the hospital and she was diagnosed with having early stages of vascular dementia. Esther’s daughter, a retired Occupational Therapist, knew the only way to truly see how her mum would cope was to get her back home, to her familiar environment, with full support and take it step by step.

Sharon Horvath – Deputy Service Manager
Sharon oversees the care and support provided for clients and their relatives at SweetTree. Having over 20 years of care experience within domiciliary care in Lancashire and London she has supported and cared for a variety of people in a variety of situations. Sharon loves working with people and finds it very rewarding.
“I don’t think I could do anything else, I have met some wonderful people over the years and it still amazes me how people can deal with their challenges”.

Once at home Anna needed to provide all of Esther’s personal care needs, which included transferring her with a stand aid hoist that Sharon had recommended and put in place prior to her discharge from hospital. Anna needed to ensure that Lola was also well looked after and had daily walks. Sharon and Anna had a clear plan of action moving forward and worked with the Physiotherapists to put in daily exercises for her arm, which within a few weeks became much stronger.

One of the difficulties facing Esther and Anna was Esther’s deteriorating mental state which meant that Esther felt unsure and anxious. Esther called out if she was ever alone, particularly at night if she was having trouble sleeping.

Anna looked into the things that Esther had enjoyed before her hospital stay and day by day put more of these activities into the daily routine. Esther still loved to walk Lola so Anna took Esther in the wheelchair and took her with her to walk Lola. She also discovered that Esther loved to do things on the laptop computer and play games like Connect 4. This enabled Esther to have busy days and restful nights.

With excellent personal care and support, Esther began to enjoy her life again and the distress eased completely. When her arm was much better Anna began to help Esther to use her Zimmer frame, day by day, helping her to regain some balance. Once this had been achieved Anna supported Esther to walk a few steps every couple of hours throughout the day, building her strength and confidence. Esther is now able to walk to the toilet with her Zimmer frame and even out into the garden, which she loves in the sun. Esther is still confused but she is no longer distressed. She will now need the full support of carers for the long term, but Anna is continuing to help her reach her full potential and enjoy her life.

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