I have recently had an operation on my right arm. I totally underestimated what this would mean for me. I was looking forward to a few weeks at home, watching box sets, eating chocolates, and generally putting my feet up while my arm recovered; pain free. What actually happened was very different! After the first few days of intense pain, I realised how disabling not having a right arm really was going to be over the next 6 to 8 weeks. I am very right-handed! And everything became a challenge – not least teaching my house full of boys to put my hair in a ponytail.
These last few weeks have made me think about the situations our residents find themselves in when they come to live with us. Many residents come into care after a stroke, illness, or accident, or not being able to cope anymore at home. When they arrive in their unfamiliar new environment, sometimes their bodies are not behaving as they once did. These changes have a significant impact on their daily living, routines, relationships and self-esteem and feelings of self-efficacy.
Changes and disability are part of the human condition and almost everyone will be temporarily, or permanently impaired at some point in life. Those who live long into their old age will often experience increasing difficulties in how they function.
When you’re hit by a disabling illness or injury, it can spark a range of unsettling emotions and fears. You may wonder how you will ever be able to cope again. It can be incredibly difficult to accept these life changes and acceptance can feel like giving in. However, refusing to accept the reality of our limitations, keeps us stuck where we are, it prevents us from moving forward and from making necessary changes to our lives to live as fully as possible. Adjusting to life with a disability can be a difficult transition. We all take our health for granted—until it is gone. No matter the changes or disabilities in your life, it is entirely possible to overcome the challenges and learn to enjoy a fulfilling life. Here at Goatacre Manor Care Centre, we help each of our residents with an individual person-centred care plan to assist them with these changes.
A person-centred care plan can look at all of your support and care needs. This plan includes services to help you in your day-to-day life from providing equipment, help with washing or dressing, and general care and support whilst fostering/maintaining as much independence as possible. Different professionals may be involved in making an assessment such as our Nurses, the Doctor, a social worker, and an occupational therapist; whoever we need to assist us. The Care Plan will look at your physical, psychological, social, and cultural needs – we make a holistic assessment of you as a human wanting to move through this world with as much grace and joy as possible. Each plan is as unique as the individual it is designed to support.
Adapting to life changes is never easy, but there are ways we can help you cope with limitations, overcome challenges, and build a rewarding life. Coming into care can help you do this and assist you to continue being you. Our residents are encouraged to continue to be as independent as possible and do as much as they can (if able to) – for themselves. As the saying goes, ‘If you don’t use it – you lose it’? It gives me great joy to say that residents regularly come into our home and regain skills that they hadn’t used for some time – from gardening to knitting, some even learning new skills never done before, wax sealing, flower arranging and more…
You will be glad to know, that although my tennis/ golf/ piano career is probably over – I am making a good recovery and am coming to terms with the fact that my hair will not look good until I can use my arm again!