Service user blog: meet Paul

My name is Paul – I am originally from Carlisle, and have been living in Dearnevale care home for the past nine years. I recently moved into the OneCare service flat, and can’t believe the progress I have made.

When I first moved into Dearnevale, I was angry, scared and in a wheelchair. I worked with the staff and had 1:1 support to assist me in managing my behaviour, on my own. I think by doing this and interacting with those around me, I began to feel more comfortable. I started working with a physio, joined Sliming World and began using an exercise bike. I now have no use for a wheelchair – I can walk freely.

Although there was a lot to do within the care home, I now get to do more of my own stuff. I enjoy visiting Bolsover Castle, I go out to eat and to the cinema, carry out my own weekly shop and go swimming. I began swimming and going to the gym with Dearnevale staff twice a week, before plucking up the courage to ask for a job. I was over the moon when the leisure centre said yes! I now work twice a week at the gym, cutting grass and doing some cleaning, and during the winter I get a free membership!

Since being in my own flat, I have learnt how to cook, how to keep the place clean and tidy on my own, and enjoy playing my video games, or being in the garden. This year I have already been able to go on holiday twice, one to Tenerife and one to Majorca – I would like to book another after Christmas once the prices have gone down. I think living at Dearnevale gives me the best of both worlds – I can do my own thing when I wish, but if I want to be involved with the various activities within the home, I can be.

I would like to let other service users know, although it can be scary going into a care home, don’t be scared. If other homes are like Dearnevale, you will be fine. If it wasn’t for the staff here, I wouldn’t be where I am now – they are great.

My independence is so important to me, and my aspiration is to live by myself. Being in the OneCare service flat is definitely a step in the right direction – I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings for me.