I had an accident by falling down the stairs in my home that I shared with my family, resulting in an acquired brain injury.
After this I spent time in Rakehead rehabilitation unit in Burnley from January 2011 until June 2013, when I moved into supported living at Affinity Supporting People in Clayton –Le-Moors.
I had limited verbal communication due to aphasia, which I found to be very frustrating. I had a communication file containing visual items to show staff, with some of my needs and other information regarding family.
Initially I was unable to walk unsupported and required two members of staff to help with my mobility which gradually reduced to one staff member whilst in my home.
I am a proud man and declined to go out every time in my wheelchair due to feeling embarrassed. This resulted in me having a bad quality of life and staying indoors most of the time. Eventually I obtained a mobility car which lifted my spirits, but I still felt unhappy and I made it known to staff that I would like to live in my own home and not with other people.
Affinity and its staff supported me to move into my own flat. This was a very positive move for me mentally and physically, my mobility improved and I began using a walking frame taking positive risks with support from staff.
My pride and determination helped me progress very quickly, unfortunately I became very low in mood which affected my health. I requested a move back to my home town of Blackburn, where I could be closer to my family and friends.
Affinity supported me over several months to search for a property in Blackburn of my choice, I finally found a perfect home very close to my family, and this made me very emotional and also excited.
I moved into my property in June 2016 and am now happier than I have been in years. The staff at Affinity have helped me improve so much and I have requested that Affinity continues to support me, I am very happy with the team.
Everyone who knows me has commented on how far I have come, they say that I am amazing the way I have pushed myself to the limit to improve my mobility and communication.
I no longer use mobility aids apart from handrails on my staircase. I go for long walks with Silvana my support worker and my verbal communication has improved so much.
This is a very memorable and proud time for me.