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Making every Moment Matter for Andy

21st October 2022

Andy on holiday in his wheelchair

With patience, understanding and encouragement, Andy is defying the odds to live his best life at our Essex residential care home.

Andy has lived at Timber Grove for over 30 years. Around two years ago he started to struggle with his health, and in early 2021 the team got the devastating news that he had a bleed on the brain. Due to the nature of the injury we were told it could not be treated, and  Andy would receive palliative care.

Service manager Mel said: “All of our residents have been here over 20 years, four have lived there since it opened in 1983 and we’ve got a lot of staff that have been here many years, so we are really one big family, and this was really difficult news for us all.”

A plan was put in place to help Andy, and the staff, with guidance on how to help Andy stay calm and then to slowly increase his activity, for example, going to post a letter or a trip to the fish and chip shop, then building up to a day trip to a car festival.

For many months Andy spent a lot of time in bed sleeping but slowly and gradually, with the encouragement of staff, Andy started to show signs of improvement.

Mel said:

We started introducing more and more activities and he was managing so well, eventually we thought, well, let’s take him on holiday.

So, Andy, along with his housemate Jon and staff, took a trip to Norfolk this summer. On their return, staff said it was one of the most successful holidays they’d had and Andy had really enjoyed himself. Mel and Andy are now planning another trip to visit Andy’s family near Brighton.

Mel and her team are determined to make every moment matter for Andy. She said, “In theory, every day could be his last day. With the nature of his injury it could come back and he could be gone tomorrow or he could be with us another 10 or 20 years. I’ve known Andy and his family a long time and we joked that he’s just too stubborn to listen to anything the doctors say. But it’s just about making sure he’s living his best life for as long as he can.”

Andy’s sister-in-law Olive said: “I can’t believe the difference, the care is out of this world. We didn’t think he had a chance to live following what the doctor said but because of the staff at Timber Grove and all their support that’s what’s pulled him through. To see where he is now, going out, to cafes and on holiday, is amazing!”