19-year old ‘Sophie’ is quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and related behavioural issues, along with being partially sighted and suffering from epilepsy.
She moved from her family home to the Winsford-based 3L Care centre for people with complex health needs in November 2011. Within a few weeks, Sophie’s dad Thomas and mum Amanda were seeing dramatic improvements in her attitude, behaviour and personal wellbeing.
Unfortunately, Thomas and Amanda are concerned about the small number of specialist centres like 3L Care and want to see provision radically improved. Because of this, Sophie has had to spend time in residential care that was entirely inappropriate for her needs.
“Although we tried extremely hard for 18 years and we all love Sophie dearly, we were struggling to look after her at home and finding it tough to give her the stimulation she requires to reach her potential. She was getting bored and this was feeding back into her behaviour,” said Thomas.
Thomas and Amanda, an NHS manager, had the additional pressure of balancing Sophie's needs with those of her twin sister Louisa who is now a university student, their 16-year-old brother Michael, and younger sister Lily who is just 10.
“Sophie has benefitted enormously from living at 3L Care and this is evidenced by her behaviour. She has far fewer tantrums and is communicating well with her peers and carers, not to mention other family members,” said Thomas. “She is happy, smiles and laughs a lot more which is largely due to the time and expertise available to her from the staff at 3L Care. Before she went to live there, we were under huge pressure as a family."
Thomas and Amanda are convinced the specialist care available for Sophie at 3L Care has completely changed the emotional dynamics of their family. “This really is a win/win situation because we can now do everything that ordinary families do, safe in the knowledge that Sophie is happy and well cared for,” said Thomas.Thomas and Amanda spent nine months looking for somewhere appropriate for Sophie.
Thomas said: “This was a very anxious time as many of the places we looked at were unsuitable. It was fortunate that we came across a vacancy at 3L Care at the right time and we are delighted that it has worked out so well for everybody.
“We look forward to visiting her and she looks forward to our visits. The time we spend together now is quality time. Before she went into 3L Care she’d be screaming three or four hours a day and it was draining.”
Thomas and Amanda are especially pleased with the variety of facilities at 3L Care, including hydrotherapy in an indoor heated swimming pool, a purpose-built cinema, and a sensory room where visual, auditory and tactile effects provide a stimulating yet relaxing environment.
“Sophie loves the art room where she’s been doing hand printing and foot painting. The centre’s art teacher Stephanie Marsh is adept at bringing out the creative side of Sophie which is a joy to watch,” explained Thomas.“All the staff are exceptionally committed. It is clear that the people they recruit at 3L Care bring real empathy and dedication, along with great communication skills and excellent team-working.”
*To protect and respect the identities of the people in our care, all names in this case study have been altered.
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For further information on availability and recruitment please contact 3L Care:
Chapel Road, Winsford
Cheshire CW7 3AD.
Phone: 01606 215395