The Importance of Heart-led and Proactive Support – James’s Story 

James is 26 years old and lives with Autism, Sotos Syndrome and Epilepsy.

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The Importance of Heart-led and Proactive Support – James’s Story 

One of the brands that falls under the Catalyst Care Group – Leaf Complex Care started supporting James after he received support at a residential home. His care at the residential home wasn’t adequate for his conditions, and his needs weren’t met as he made slow progress.

Facing the Challenges

James’ support team found it difficult to understand his behaviour because of the inconsistent staff and poor communication. As a result, James often experienced episodes of escalating behaviour that challenged everyone around him.

One of the main reasons for this was that he found verbal communication difficult or confusing. This often led to misunderstandings and frustration since James was on antipsychotic medication. The medication made everything more challenging for James, as it profoundly affected his behaviour and mood, negatively impacting him and his family.

How Our Humanised Support Changed Everything?

When our support workers met James, we provided him with a 2:1 package of support.

We immediately started working towards creating a close-knit support team around James, which has helped us to recognise his triggers and stabilise his behaviour when necessary.

Our team includes skilled professionals trained to manage a wide range of complex situations, from managing challenging behaviour to providing tailored communication strategies. We understand that James can find verbal communication difficult, so we’ve implemented symbols and social stories to help him better understand and communicate with us. We also recognise the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and reducing stress levels for the people we support, and James is no exception. To help him manage his comfort eating habits, we’ve introduced daily pots of snacks clearly labelled with the days of the week. Additionally, we’ve taken non-drug therapies and practical support to James’ treatment to reduce his dependence on antipsychotic medication.

“We now know with a skilled staff team James can learn – he’s learnt more in six months than he did in six years! He now gets his own drinks from a jug: he would never have been able to associate being thirsty and having a drink before.” – says Jennie, James’ mum.

His sister Rhiannon Hardy stated: “James is happy with his core team, and they are managing his behaviours well. He is able to live a life of his choosing, with the appropriate boundaries put in place by a team that now knows him well and enjoy working with him. He is seemingly the happiest he has ever been in his adult life.

Creating a Positive Impact for James and His Family

With our humane approaches and consistency of service, the journey of James’s improvement significantly increased. We helped James move into his new homewhere he is supported round-the-clock by our dedicated support workers. 

“When we first met James, he was understandably cautious of us, but now his confidence has grown. He often pops into the office to say hello. He’s a real joy to be around, and we especially love his cheekiness”. – says the Registered Manager at Leaf Complex Care.

And now we’ve reached a stage where we’ve reduced the support, where James receives 2:1 to 1:1.

Our Devon Partnership NHS Trust James Rowley, Learning Disability Nurse, adds: “James’ family have indicated how happy they are with the quality and consistency of support. From the pre-planning stage, through transition and the ongoing support – your team have provided excellent support for James.”

“There is no question for me that James’ life has improved beyond measure, and without a skilled team, this could not have happened.” – says Jennie, James’ mum.

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