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Case study - independent living service (December 2011)

After managing without support for years, service user John Purchase, says he is delighted to have been given a helping hand.  The 48-year-old has a range of different conditions including cerebral palsy, kyphosis of the spine and lumbar spondylosis.  He uses a wheel chair and has limited mobility as well as needing assistance with domestic chores and personal care.

Up until last year he was feeling isolated and depressed and was unable to wash himself independently.  But after approaching his doctor who referred him for physiotherapy, his physiotherapist put him in touch with the Council's social services.  And as a result he benefitted from a range of services provided by Blackburn with Darwen Council, which have dramatically improved the quality of his life.

An assessment by the Council's Independent Living Centre saw his bathroom adapted so that he could wash himself rather than being washed by carers.  This meant he could regain his independence and not rely on carers for his personal care.

His front step to his house was repaired to make access to his property easier and a secure key system installed to allowed carers to get in if he fell or became ill.  Other improvements included the installation of a special alarm system with a panic button.  

John now plans to adapt his kitchen so that he is able to manoeuvre around it better and plans to join the new personalised budget scheme, which will allow him to choose what care he receives.

"I was really impressed at how the Council and the NHS worked together to identify what I needed to help me move forward and get myself straight," said John.

"Now I'm on top of everything I can think about getting a job and becoming more social and just get on with my life."

Executive member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Mohammed Khan, said: "I am very clear that one of our main priorities is to help and support people to achieve greater independence, choice and control. I am very pleased that through the Council putting adaptations in his home, Mr Purchase feels his quality of life has improved.

"Our work in these areas has seen a reduced number of people going into long term care between April 2011 and now. We are giving people the chance to stay in their homes and stay independent for longer but still making sure their care needs are met.

"We have a limited amount of money and we have much higher demands on our services.

"But by investing in new technology and home adaptations we can give people huge benefits but keep costs down."

If you would like to speak to someone about your needs contact the Adult Social Care Customer Liaison Team on (01254) 587547. You can contact them from 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Independent Living Service