Getting back on your feet

An example of how this 85 year-old used a one-page profile to help direct all the new support she was receiving in her life following a fall and a short hospital stay. Mary lives at home and had lost her confidence after her accident. Her one-page profile has helped her get back on her feet.

Written by Gill Bailey

Mary's one-page profile

Mary’s one-page profile

Mary is 85 years old, she lives in Preston in a house she owns and she has lived there for around 50 years. She has raised her children there and has fond memories connected to her home and would not like to move anywhere else. Mary’s husband George sadly passed away seven years ago. Since then Mary has been living on her own. Mary has always been independent and says she has been brought up not to expect any help from anyone and to “get on with it”.

Mary has devoted her life to raising her two children: daughter Diane and son John who both have their own families now. They live in Preston and visit Mary on a regular basis. Mary cherishes her time with her children and grandchildren and is delighted when they come to visit. They also often take her for a meal out.

Following a fall caused by an uneven pathway whilst out shopping, Mary was taken to hospital in an ambulance she was thoroughly checked over. Although nothing was fractured she was badly bruised and had lost her confidence in going out, as she was scared of falling again. It was clear Mary would need ongoing support from domiciliary care services and so Alex (a reablement team member responsible for supporting Mary back to living life as she chose) met with her and her family to develop a one-page profile.

The aim was to use the one-page profile with the various people and teams that would be involved in Mary’s ongoing care. It would provide a concise account of what Mary truly wanted and how they could support her best. A lot of rich information came out of the conversations with Mary and her family and this was used to inform her profile, which Mary ultimately wrote herself. We learned that Mary goes to bingo weekly on Mondays and to a lunching club at the local community centre on Thursdays which she thoroughly enjoyed and clearly wanted to continue.

We also uncovered that Mary doesn’t always remember to take her medication and she keeps it on the kitchen table so she remembers to take her tablets after breakfast. It was really important to Mary that she managed her own medication and she didn’t wish for staff to support her with this although she was happy for supporters to ask how she is getting in with her system.

Since the fall Mary uses a walking stick and feels safer and steadier with it than without. Mary is now confident enough to keep to her bingo and lunching club commitments, and considers herself to be “back to normal”.

Mary says that her profile really helps people get to know her quickly and means she isn’t having to tell staff over and over what she needs because the one-page profile does this for her. It means that staff can ensure she has what matters present on a day to day basis and that she is consistently supported regardless of the number of different people involved in providing that support.