Hft | Stories and Case Studies | "I couldn't wait to move in!"

Paula has flourished since moving home and is now set for a more independent future.

Image of PaulaA comfortable home environment can affect a person’s quality of life and living in a shared house with others can be tricky, especially if there’s an unpredictable environment.

Paula is a vibrant, outgoing individual supported by Hft in South Kent. She recently moved into a new home at a supported living service and she couldn’t be happier!

Paula has been supported by Hft over the past three years, receiving one-on-one and shared support in a shared home. Throughout this time, Paula had struggled to control her emotions if any plans in her day changed at the last minute. She would often become extremely anxious or frustrated, showing this by shouting at her support staff and other house mates. Outbursts of anger used to be a regular occurrence and Paula would verbally threaten others around her.

The other individuals that Paula lived with had greater support needs and their challenging behaviour sometimes escalated. Paula’s support team identified that this could be one of the triggers of her own behaviour…

As part of Paula’s support plan, her support team used positive behavioural support techniques to minimise the risks her behaviours brought, including ‘talk time’ and relaxation strategies. The support team were delighted to see Paula’s anxiety reduce over time, but they knew that to make all her hard work and progress stick, they’d have to find her a home better suited to her needs.

Hft staff arranged for Paula to visit a house near the town of Folkestone, which they selected for its close proximity to the local community. Paula went along and met with the existing tenants (who are also supported by Hft) and instantly hit it off with them.

I thought the place was lovely and I really wanted to go live there

All settled in

After a couple more visits and assurances from staff, Paula made the leap to move in. Four months on, she’s adapted brilliantly and her social life is thriving. Sonia Horne, Registered Cluster Manager for our South Kent region, says:

Because Paula’s day-to-day life was restricted by her previous house tenants’ routines, she was quite anxious when she first moved in. She would ask if it was OK to eat or drink certain foods, or get worried if certain plans changed at the last minute. But since the move, Paula is much happier. Listening to music helps her alleviate any anxiety that does build up, and staff are always around if she needs any additional support.”

Image of Paula and one of her housematesSince the move, Paula has worked on better organising her days, and has acquired some new hobbies. She now attends the ‘Spectrum Art’ group and recently took on a lead role in a Cinderella pantomime! To keep fit she attends local fitness classes and spends some of her evenings at her local social club.

Paula can now walk to the local market and purchase a few snacks and a drink and get home safely on her own, which is great progress for her. She still gets anxious from time to time, but she’s moving in the right direction, thanks to the consistent, person-centred support she is being given.

A more independent future

Paula’s support staff are now working on a support plan that will enable her to catch local buses without support, which will give her even more freedom to visit friends and family. And now that Paula is living in a more comfortable, quieter home close to the town, her support team are confident that she is set for a more independent future.