Annie, now 93 years old, was born with a weakness down her right side and has always had trouble walking. Later in life, after a leg fracture, Annie has been unable to walk at all.
After 35 years in residential care, Annie moved into her own flat, supported by Affinity Trust, in 2015.
Supported living opened up a new world for Annie, who soon settled in to living in the community, choosing her own meals, and watching whatever she wanted on TV.
Three years later, Affinity Trust started rolling out Active Support – a method of enabling people with learning disabilities to engage more in their daily lives.
Inspired by their Active Support training, Annie’s team discussed how to support her to become more independent. They came up with simple new ideas, such as moving Annie’s coffee- and tea-making equipment to a lower worktop.
When supporting Annie to chop vegetables, staff noticed she found it hard to keep the vegetables still, so they bought a chopping board with a walled edge to make the task easier.
Annie has replaced her normal chair with a wheelchair, which provides pressure care and helps to better support her back. Previously, before Annie could engage in an activity, she had to be hoisted from her normal chair into a wheelchair. This made her reluctant to be involved in activities.
Annie bought a wheeled table which fits around chairs and beds, so it can be placed anywhere in her home. Annie needs to take more bed rest as she grows older; thanks to the table, Annie can enjoy playing dominoes in bed.
Annie has a custom-designed lowered worktop in her kitchen and can now wash her own dishes.
Annie used to avoid using her kitchen because she was afraid of hurting herself. Now, with encouragement and better equipment, she helps prepare and cook her meals and make her own drinks.
The combination of Active Support and supported living has had a massive impact on Annie’s life, from developing daily living skills and increasing independence to accessing her community and enjoying special moments. She is extremely proud of her achievements.
Annie’s support team have also benefitted from Active Support. Staff have said they gain great job satisfaction in seeing Annie achieve outcomes they never thought possible.