LIFE AT THE CARE HOME BY ELIZABETH

“I get up early, make breakfast according to my weekly plan (specifically devised diet). Usually I go out in the garden if the weather is fine then there are some activities. I take part in a “communal cook”. Twice a week there is a psychology group. We discuss things like diet, healthy eating and individual problems and how to solve them. Once a week I go with staff for a walk around the park opposite. There is a garden group but I have not yet taken part in this or the swimming group that go twice a week. The staff check up on me doing every day chores like washing/shopping and the shopping is done Tuesdays for which I have an allowance. I have not been out on my own at all – staff always accompany me and sometimes a member of staff will take me into town or help me do certain chores. I cannot go out on my own as I feel unsteady on my feet walking. I cannot sit down for longer than 5 minutes as I become fearful and feel restless. I do suffer from dizziness and am fearful of open spaces and suffer panic attacks. I think this could be because I was in hospital for so many years and did not go out much – again never on my own.

I get tired and have to go to bed early. I cannot stay up beyond 7.00 pm and sometimes after lunch I feel so tired I have to lie down. If I become stressed I feel a strain to my heart and get sharp pains.

It has been nice coming home over Easter. I have felt refreshed being at home with the family and have enjoyed staying with grandparents and my Mum. Things are getting better now that I am allowed more time to spend with my family whereas before I felt trapped and chlostrophobic.

I have listened to part of a broadcast – a friend of my Mum and her daughter and found this very interesting (Critical Mass Radio) The Lorraine Moss Show.

I am much happier at the home than before in hospital. The people are nice, both staff and residents.

Over the weekend I went to Woburn Abbey with my Mum. I would like to work with animals but I still enjoy cooking and do this every day. I also enjoy art. I was once on a floristry course. I have not long since moved to the care home and hope to move on with my life now.

Looking back to my experience at the hospitals I would have liked there to be more understanding from health professionals for patients in general as when you say you do not wish to do something they do not understand and try and force you. I have not experienced that kind of treatment where I am now.”

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