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Case Study 6

Introduction

Mr D was referred by his GP surgery as he was living in a nursing home due to a medical condition which resulted in symptoms similar to a stroke.  He had very limited physical ability and was confined to his bed unless aided. Mr D had a severe speech impairment and he also required support with all his daily living activities by the nursing home staff.

Mr D felt extremely lonely as mentally he had no difficulties but his physical disabilities and speech impairment meant that he was unable to move to the social room independently and when there, was unable to communicate with other residents as they found it difficult to understand him and it took a long time for him to try to speak.  This made joining a conversation extremely difficult. Mr D therefore felt very isolated, even within a room full of other people.

Staff had a good relationship with Mr D and could understand his speech difficulties but had limited time to spend on a 1:1 basis with him.  He did not have frequent visits from family/friends to the nursing home and was frustrated, angry, upset and depressed due to his disabilities.    

What did the Live Well advisor do?          

Mr D was referred to:

  • The charity Speakability who support people with speech difficulties – they offered befriending support by one of their members.
  • The charity Speak with I.T. (www.speakwithit.org) who support people with speech difficulties to look at alternative ways to support communication.
  • The charity Independent Age (www.independentage.org) for 1:1 volunteer befriending.     

What happened?                  

Although Mr D’s physical needs were being met by nursing home care, his quality of life and mental health were affected by his loneliness due to his illness. Mr D was grateful for the referrals made which will hopefully reduce his loneliness and improve his quality of life.