Adam was living in his own home previously and was subject to multiple accounts of abuse and neglect by agency staff and barriers placed by multiple disability organisations.
Because Adam sometimes struggles to articulate himself, this went on for some time before his sister Sophie realised something was wrong and investigated it.
Sophie brought Adam home to live with herself and her partner and she stopped working in order to provide care for him. Adam had ongoing trauma related depression and anxiety and was afraid of doing many things outside of Sophie’s home.
In early 2019, Sophie asked Plan Navigators to assist her in setting up a shared management arrangement so that she could put together a team to support Adam in her home so she could go back to work. Since then, we have worked together with Sophie to find some excellent staff who have got to know Adam and understand his needs and wants. Sophie reports the following:
Adam’s team text each other and keep in touch on where his needs are at every day. It’s beautiful to watch their same passion as myself for Adam. If he is having a bad day they are all in contact with each other and work amongst themselves to figure out how to improve the outcome for Adam. I have given them the tools of understanding Adam’s moods, characteristics and they have taken it all in and work daily to redirect him into a better head space and the results have been so beneficial for him. Adam’s trauma from previous experience does pop up here and there but they have the tools now to know the signs and quickly step in with approaches and redirection to get him to a better head space. It has been a long hard journey for Adam but he is doing so well with the activities he is attending. Members at the Men’s Shed have even remarked that he is so different now compared to when they saw him with previous supports. Adam’s gym days have him developing a steadier pace when he walks on the days when his is in a good head space. Adam’s mentoring at home has given him the feeling of ‘it’s my business’ – he wants to help more and more around the house. With patience and placing Adam correctly in the right place around the kitchen/bedroom/laundry he can help with the tasks appropriate to his capabilities. I express congratulations at the great achievement when tasks are completed. Adam’s excitement is contagious. It has been a challenging few months for me to get here but for the end result it is worth it. Adam has good days and bad days but the team are programmed now with information given to know the signs and they respond straight away and get Adam to his cheeky happy self which reduces the deep trauma effects.
Adam’s whole personality/affect has changed back to the happy, joking and carefree guy he was before. Sophie has now returned to work and is very happy with the team they now have and that Adam knows he’s “The Boss”.
Sophie would also like to say something to people who have vulnerable people that they care about:
If you think something is not right, investigate it, act on your feelings and don’t let the excuses of organisations or support staff deter you. You have the right to step in, don’t be afraid to rock the boat, keep people accountable because your loved one may not be able to stand up for themselves. This story shows that Adam now has a voice but it took a lot of fighting – it’s so worth it in the end to see Adam’s happiness now.
This story is why we love it when people take more control of their supports and their funding. Amazing people like Sophie and Adam who fight for choice and control and have high expectations of supports.
Please note that names have been changed to protect privacy.