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Developing essential life skills to live more independently

Sarah* is a young woman with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and atypical autism. She came to Rookery Hove in 2011 and moved on to independent living in the spring of 2016. Rookery Hove was chosen over other units because it was felt that Sarah would benefit from the holistic therapeutic program on o­ffer, with a wide range of therapies available.

Sarah struggled with tasks of daily living and also had manic episodes which compromised her safety and were often very distressing. Over the years, Sarah’s confidence grew and she learned to cope with her mania and seek out support when she felt vulnerable.

Sarah was quick to develop her independence skills both inside and outside of the house, and through occupational therapy she learned essential life skills such as cooking. Sarah made use of all of the therapies and activities on offer in the service, as well as taking advantage of courses on o­ffer at City College.

How we supported Sarah

Sta­ff worked with Sarah through person-centred planning, this meant that we could cater for her needs and help set out achievable goals. As Sarah progressed, she took advantage of her locality, including learning to drive. She also gained valuable work experience volunteering in a local charity shop. In-house, Sarah learned to cook all of her meals independently and found the staff­ to be incredibly approachable, having really positive relationships with residents and staff­ alike.

Sarah had some real struggles to overcome. Her diagnosis of bipolar disorder meant that her moods could be quite erratic. In the morning she could be bright and cheerful, and then without much warning she would feel very low. Through CBT sessions with our site psychologist, Sarah learned to better understand this diagnosis and developed strategies to cope with her mood swings. The staff­, therapists and managers at Rookery Hove worked together to give Sarah the best opportunities to live a fulfilled and independent life.

Achieving positive outcomes

Some of Sarah’s outcomes included:

  • Cooking independently
  • Doing her own shopping
  • Working in a charity shop
  • Taking her medication independently
  • Taking care of her own money
  • Learning to drive

At Rookery Hove, Sarah developed essential life skills and in the spring of 2016, she moved out of the service and is now living independently in her own house. By the time Sarah left Rookery Hove she was: All of these skills were learned during her stay at the Rookery Hove and she left the service a confident, cheerful and independent young woman.