Covid-19 may have put a halt to a lot of things in society, but thanks to careful planning and the Government softening restrictions, it meant Ian could still move into his new Shared Lives South West household this month.
Ian has moved from a Mencap home into a SLSW household and is being supported by SLSW Carer Karen McClaskey near Penzance.
He was thrilled to be matched with Karen as he has family nearby including his brothers- he is one of triplets!
A further two brothers and a sister also live close by and he’s even been able to cycle to see some of his family members.
The move was in the pipeline since the New Year, but Covid-19 held it up.
Ian waited patiently and spoke regularly with his Shared Lives Coordinator Angela Rowe to make sure the placement was still on track.
“Ian was anxious that it wasn’t going to go ahead and we did all we could to reassure him we were onboard and so was Karen. He was originally moving in on April 24, but couldn’t due to Covid 19 restrictions,” said Angela.
“We had done a risk assessment and put all the measures in place for a safe move. It was fate he moved in the day he did. It was the day the Government reduced restrictions and it meant that he didn’t have to wear a mask or PPE when he went to Karen’s house.
“We kept positive and knew it was a case of when, not if Ian would move in.”
“It wouldn’t have been nice to welcome Ian into the house and not be able to help him unpack and get settled, the date was definitely timed right. It would have been hard on Ian to come in and wear a mask and have minimal contact with us,” added Karen.
“I think it was fate that Ian moved in the day he did,” added Angela.
“I am happy and thankful I moved, I love Karen’s cooking and Sky TV,” said Ian who has settled in quickly despite the Covid-19 hold up.
Ian now lives in an annexe apartment complete with his own room, kitchen, living room and conservatory.
“I feel at home already and I’ve had my first visitor, my pastor,” said Ian, who has a strong faith.
“One of the things I wanted was to live with a family and I have that thanks to Karen.
“Ian can come and go as he pleases. He also has his own entrance if he chooses to use it,” added Karen.
“He spends most of the time in his room but we are here to support him and he joins us at meal times. There’s also an entrance from the main house as there is a connected staircase.”
Karen is there to help and encourage Ian with everyday life.
“She helps me with keeping my bedroom nice,” said Ian.
“Karen also reminds me to wash and change my clothes.”
Ian, who loves sports including football, cricket and tennis, is already making plans for the future.
“As a family we like to travel. Ian has already said he’d like to go to Spain so we can look into that,” she said.
“He also said he wants to go to Newquay Zoo so we can start trying to think forward.”
Karen, who has been a SLSW Carer for around 13 years, enjoys the rewards the role brings.
“What I like about being a SLSW Carer is you can help people do things they may not have been able to without your support. You can also give them opportunities which may help them thrive,” she said.
Caring runs in the family as Karen’s Mum used to be a SLSW Carer and is now a support carer. Her sister Sarah is also a SLSW Carer and lives half a mile away in the same village.
“We all help and support each other, we couldn’t do it without one another,” said Karen.
“I’ve already met Peter who uses SLSW services and lives with Sarah. He likes cricket like me which is great,” add Ian.
“We all see the family a lot out and know each other so well. We can help with respite ,” commented Karen.
SLC Angela is thrilled Ian has settled so well, especially with the added pressures and measures due to Covid-19.
“There used to be a TV series called Surprise, Surprise where they made nice things happen,” said Angela. “In my role I feel like the show’s presenter Cilla Black,” she said with a smile on her face.
“It’s all about making people feel happy. I just love it and watch people develop and grow.”
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