In February, 2016 Mark lost his beloved mother whom he had been very close to. Since February the team at Douglas House have worked hard to ensure that they provide Mark with all the support he needed not only to grieve but to make new choices about his life. They are all delighted that he has embraced life at Douglas House, personalising his room with a family tree, as well as learning to explore the local community and make many new friends.
Knowing that the loss of his mother would be very difficult and wishing to give Mark as much support as possible both Lisa, the manager at Douglas House and Mark’s key worker teamed up with a local self-advocacy group for bereavement training. They contacted Plymouth People First, part of the Plymouth Highbury Trust who assisted them with end of life planning as well as bereavement training using the seven steps of grief. All of the planning and training was personalised for Mark.
The team developed a ‘Service User Hub’ at Douglas House with easy read information to support Mark through his grief as well details of where he could turn to for further support and counselling. Lisa knew that it was important to keep Mark’s mental health stable through the difficult process of grieving so she secured extra help for him.
For the first time Mark expressed the desire to re-decorate his bedroom. Mark is a passionate Star Trek fan and deciding ‘resistance is futile’ the team embraced it as a theme for the re-decoration! Most importantly, the team helped Mark to research his own family tree and create a display on his wall with photographs of himself and all of his family.
As Mark’s mum was no longer managing his finances Lisa consulted Regard’s Benefit team who were a tremendous help in the process of securing Mark his own bank account so that he could learn to manage his finances. Lisa was impressed with how proactive Mark was during this process.
Marks routine changed as he was no longer visiting his mum. He is lucky to have the support of his brother and sister whom he now regularly talks to, having learnt to make phone calls independently. The team support Mark to visit his family and they all meet for care reviews and other important meetings.
As he became more used to not having his mum around Mark, has embraced his independence, often visiting his favourite coffee shop, exploring the area and shopping with his own money. The team have introduced him to Orbit Club, a weekly social club for people with learning disabilities run by the Plymouth Highbury Trust. Mark loves to meet his friends there for a chat, playing and enjoy music sessions together.
Mark continues to look forward to a happy future – even planning a holiday in 2017!