The Upstreet Project: Elizabeth House & Roberta House, Upstreet
Residential care and re-ablement for adults with Wernicke-Korsakoff's Syndrome, acquired brain injury, ARBD (Alcohol-Related Brain Damage) and other related conditions.
Alongside the specialist care and support provided at Roberta & Elizabeth House for our clients, many of whom have a diagnosis of Korsakoff's Syndrome, we take an holistic approach, with strong leanings towards physical activity and fresh air as the best therapy for many of our clients.
We use reablement techniques to work towards rehabilitation with each and every client, regardless of their initial ability. This gives everyone the optimism that there is something to look forward to (even though the reality may be that they will remain in closely supported care/accommodation for the rest of their life) and ensures that as a team we work towards reskilling and encouraging independence.
Our Client Development Manager is responsible for supporting each of our clients to develop their own plans of Care & Support. As part of their overall plan, our clients are encouraged to identify areas of their life they would like to develop or refresh and to set goals by which to measure their progress. For many of our clients, drinking had become their whole life and we encourage them to replace this with a wide range of hobby-type activities and plenty of outings to broaden their horizons and develop other pastimes.
Our team coaches, encourages and enables our clients with development of work-based skills, life skills development including numeracy and literacy, as well as personal development including fitness.
We have multiple PCs and laptops available to our clients and we coach computer literacy in all forms, from using Facebook and other social networking sites, to using Skype to stay in touch with family. There is also wired broadband access throughout both homes for clients with their own computer equipment.
Most of our clients state that they would eventually like to return to the wider community and be living more independently. As a result of this, our balance of activities and practising of work-based skills reflects this. We are continually investing in facilities to meet our clients' needs.
Work-based skills development with the team at Roberta & Elizabeth House ranges from painting and decorating, DIY, catering and kitchen skills to working at our Furniture Renovation Workshop.
We encourage all our clients to keep exercising their grey matter - from board games to prepared debates, it's good to keep your brain moving.
We also offer a full and complete rehabilitation programme for clients who are ready to move out of Roberta or Elizabeth House and back into independent or supported living accommodation. Our Pathways Units adjacent to Roberta House are available for clients who are ready to be more independent but wish to remain part of our extended community until they are ready to go back to their own home or on into other accommodation.
Life skills development covers issues such as budgeting and planning, shopping and personal care. We encourage all our clients to take responsibility for keeping their own rooms clean and tidy, do their own laundry and ironing if appropriate, and participating in community household duties such as helping in the kitchen. We have weekly shopping trips both into Canterbury and to supermarkets and we encourage our clients to make their own choices regarding clothing and footwear as well as to choose their own treats and snacks.
There are several in-house sessions to help clients improve their numeracy and literacy. These range from Book Group meetings, Current Affairs debating and discussion with extracts from newspapers, Scrabble tournaments, interactive group budgeting exercises and basic literacy sessions. We also organise for clients to attend classes and activity groups outside the home, some of which also reinforce these skills.
Our planning and budgeting sessions are very interactive and our clients are strongly encouraged to contribute in as many ways as they feel able. We aim to help all our clients develop or relearn living skills that will support them if and when they return to more independent living. Current clients who for various reasons are less likely to live independently in the future also find these exercises very stimulating and our budgeting and planning sessions often lead to healthy debate about lifestyle choices and the economy as a whole.
However, it's not all work either and our clients have a full social schedule as well. We find that long term alcohol abuse can often lead to social withdrawal so we encourage all our clients to be part of the in-house community as well as to make friends outside of the home through clubs, volunteering, classes and the church. We also strongly encourage and often assist our clients with staying in touch with, or getting back in contact with, their families and old friends. Visitors are made very welcome and often join us for lunch.
Our Active Therapy programme is constantly evolving to meet the personal development needs of each of our clients. If you would like to know more about Roberta & Elizabeth House and whether we might be able to help you, your relative or your client, please click here to find out how to get in touch with us.