Sean’s new home is off a quiet road on the edge of Hull. Sean, now 35, has been living in his own home since August 2020.
Sean has learning disabilities and autism. He has complex communication needs and his support team need to understand what he is communicating, so they can provide the best support.
Until August 2020, Sean had spent his adult life in residential care settings. But he wasn’t getting the regular stimulation he needed.
Sean shares his new home with Leah, a woman of a similar age. Leah is also supported by Affinity Trust.
Sharing a house like this is a new experience for both of them. Emma, their Support Manager, says: “We thought this could be a difficult transition. However, after the first evening, we could see Sean and Leah would be very happy in their new home.”
Staff are supporting Sean to learn new skills – which often means thinking creatively. To encourage Sean to put away tea towels, for instance, they play kitchen basketball with him, having fun while supporting him to become more independent.
Other activities designed to meet Sean’s needs for regular stimulation include Friday night discos, held in the living room at the moment.
Staff also support Sean to do his own shopping. He plans his meals for the week ahead using picture cards that are placed on his personal menu board. Then, in his local Aldi or Morrison’s, he uses a trolley adapted for wheelchair users, and takes food off the shelves himself.
Sean loves going for a drive in his Motability car – something he does nearly every day. Emma says: “Sean gets a real sensory input out of being in the car, which makes him happy. Sean enjoys driving round lots of places, and going over speed bumps!”
Sean’s favourite destinations include the market town of Beverley and The Deep in Hull, one of the country’s largest aquariums.
Sean also goes out with his mum every Tuesday. Emma says: “It’s important they continue that family relationship. Sean’s family have been very supportive through this transition.”
Joan, Sean’s Mum, says: “Sean has settled in really well and he is really happy. Sean is getting stimulation from the person he lives with and staff are really engaging with Sean and having different experiences. Sean likes being around people where he lives and being playful which he enjoys.”
Looking back, Emma adds: “The team have done really well, considering Sean transitioned in a pandemic with limited time to get to know him before he moved. The team have worked really hard to make this a positive experience for Sean and Leah.”