wilf wardAs part of Learning Disability Awareness week 2017, we have collected good news stories from our members. Here, Wilf Ward Family Trust share the  story of Pat.

Two years ago at Elizabeth House, things were not looking good for Pat. Pat became very ill and whilst the team prepared for the worst, they worked 24117 hours a day to make sure she was receiving the very best support that they could give her. Two years later, Pat is still at Elizabeth House.

Pat is a woman who loves Elvis, enjoys slapstick comedy and clearly has a cheeky sense of humour. She won’t leave her room without having her hair blow-dried and enjoys being pampered; she always has her nails done and gets weekly reflexology visits. Pat loves shopping and going out for lunch – especially for chocolate cake!

Life isn’t always easy for Pat, but the Elizabeth House team go out of their way to make sure the support she receives is 100% person centred. Pat cannot eat solid food, but she still is ‘dining with dignity’ as the team mould her food into shapes to separate flavours and make the food presentable. From broccoli and carrots to fish fingers and beans, Pat’s meals not only look good but taste good.

Pat is trialling the use of weighted blankets and toys. The Elizabeth House team contacted the appropriate healthcare professionals to ensure that everything is used safely. The trial is going well; Pat seems relaxed with the weighted blanket and the weighted toys are comforting.

Recently, the team have created a memory box, with photos, objects and jewellery from Pat’s life. Pat looks at the memory box daily and as the memory box shows, Pat is ‘still young at heart’.

Pat has vascular dementia, as well as learning disabilities. The team know that there is no miracle cure; dementia is not something you can recover from. But Pat is not her dementia; Pat is the woman who loves Elvis, enjoys slapstick comedy and has a cheeky sense of humour.