Jenny* was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) five years ago. Following two previously unsuccessful placements resulting in Jenny gaining an additional 8 stone, she joined Finn Farm Lodge.
Whilst in her previous placements, Jenny was in supported accommodation that also cared for people with mental health problems. The staff didn’t really understand PWS and gave Jenny very little support so she would do negative things to get their attention.
When Jenny first arrived at Finn Farm Lodge she weighed 23 stone and her health had really deteriorated. She found it hard to walk, even with the slightest bit of exertion, she became out of breath. Staff also found that due to the increased weight and the lack of support in her previous placement, Jenny had lost her confidence.
To regain Jenny's confidence, the staff team put a structured support plan in place which included detailed food plans and agreed achievable goals with Jenny to reduce her weight. The food plans were based on 1300 calories per day and security measures were introduced to stop Jenny from taking additional food from the kitchen. Staff would also avoid talking about ‘diets’ around Jenny as most individuals with the syndrome have heard this all their lives and are tired of the word, instead they would refer to it as ‘healthy eating’.
As well as keeping a careful eye on the calories consumed by Jenny, staff also took great care in sourcing fresh ingredients, preparing the food well and making sure Jenny received a balanced and varied diet.
Staff also introduced as part of Jenny’s support plan a house day where she would do tasks around the house which included cleaning her room, washing up and other domestic duties to help develop her independence skills. Staff also encouraged exercise activities to help with managing Jenny’s weight, she particularly enjoyed attending the local leisure centre where she would play table tennis and go swimming.
With the right PWS processes in place and with lots of encouragement from staff, Jenny’s weight began to reduce and her confidence increase.
Jenny weighed 23 stone when she first arrived at Finn Farm Lodge. After 7 months, Jenny has lost 6 stone and now weighs just over 17 stone.
With the reduced weight and new found confidence, Jenny is planning to start an IT course next year at the local college where she is looking forward to making even more friends. Jenny is also currently doing a voluntary work placement which she goes to each week and really enjoys.
The company have been really impressed with Jenny’s work and are looking to extend the placement and give Jenny more responsibility in her current role.
When she arrived at Finn Farm Lodge, the main challenge facing Rachael* who has PWS, was reducing her weight, but she also had a number of personal goals that she wanted to achieve. These included managing her anxieties and spending more time with peer groups in the local community.
With these goals in mind, the staff team worked closely with Rachael to develop effective plans that she could measure against her personal plan, including the introduction of a calorie-controlled diet.
Rachael has also started cooking the evening meals with staff and is thoroughly enjoying this.
Through the staff support and encouragement, Rachael has lost three stone in weight since moving to Finn Farm Lodge. The success of Rachael’s improved diet has also increased her energy levels and motivation to further access the local area. This includes a variety of physical activities from long walks in the local park to swimming. With the support of her key workers, Rachael has become more mobile and also reduced the use of her walker around the home and local streets.
At Finn Farm Lodge, we are delighted with the progress Rachael has made and the positive outcomes she is achieving.
*Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.