Paul* was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) five years ago. Following two previously unsuccessful placements resulting in Paul gaining an additional 8 stone, he joined Finn Farm Lodge.
Whilst in his previous placements, Paul was in supported accommodation that also cared for people with mental health problems. The staff didn’t really understand PWS and gave Paul very little support so he would do negative things to get their attention.
When Paul first arrived at Finn Farm Lodge, he weighed 23 stone and his health had really deteriorated. He found it hard to walk, even with the slightest bit of exertion, he became out of breath. Staff also found that due to the increased weight and the lack of support in his previous placement, Paul had lost her confidence.
How we supported Paul
To regain Paul's confidence, the staff team put a structured support plan in place which included detailed food plans and agreed achievable goals with Paul to reduce his weight. The food plans were based on 1300 calories per day and security measures were introduced to stop Paul from taking additional food from the kitchen. Staff would also avoid talking about ‘diets’ around Paul 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 Paul, staff also took great care in sourcing fresh ingredients, preparing the food well and making sure Paul received a balanced and varied diet.
Staff also introduced as part of Paul’s support plan, a house day where he would do tasks around the house which included cleaning his room, washing up and other domestic duties to help develop his independence skills. Staff also encouraged exercise activities to help with managing Paul’s weight, he particularly enjoyed attending the local leisure centre where he would play table tennis and go swimming.
With the right PWS processes in place and with lots of encouragement from staff, Paul’s weight began to reduce and his confidence increase.
Achieving positive outcomes
Paul weighed 23 stone when he first arrived at Finn Farm Lodge. After 7 months, Paul has lost 6 stone and now weighs just over 17 stone.
With the reduced weight and new found confidence, Paul is planning to start an IT course next year at the local college where he is looking forward to making even more friends. Paul is also currently doing a voluntary work placement which he goes to each week and really enjoys.
The company have been really impressed with Paul’s work and are looking to extend the placement and give Paul more responsibility in her current role.
*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.