Day care services help Archie smile again after lockdown

Images of Archie, smiling in a sensory room.

Archie is a young man with profound multiple learning disability & multi-sensory impairment.

Before the pandemic, Archie would attend Highfields Day Care Centre. For five days out of the week, he was supported with a repetitive daily routine, helping him to understand the world around him. This supporusing effective communication via touch cues, objects of reference and the use of his senses in intensive interaction sessions.

March 2020 services had to close.

On the 24th of March 2020, this service closed due to COVID 19. Families were advised to isolate themselves to keep safe and follow government regulation/ guidelines, with no support been offered from Highfield’s day service other than regular well-being check in with family it soon became quite apparent the difficult situation Archie & his family were facing.

Archie’s Mum cares for him predominantly with all aspects of his life other than when he attends day services. She explained that she had noticed a deterioration in Archie’s physical & mental health, and a lack of engagement in the world around him since the service closed.

How did the team help?

To help provide some structure again, the team made weekly telephone calls to his home and advised Archie’s mum on ways she could support him from home and build back up a routine.

The team was able to offer reduced community service to Archie and his family & eventually invite him back into Highfields itself and offer some familiarity around routine.

Although the year didn’t turn out how it was planned with another two national lockdowns and the service closed again the staff managed to continue some kind of routine to support Archies physical and mental health.

Archie’s mum said:

‘’This year has been so difficult for everyone. The fear of the virus has affected us all deeply. We managed when Highfields day centre closed for quite some weeks, but my son’s mental and physical health suffered greatly.

Highfields offered us a support package to enable his daily physiotherapy to be done and that package has since been extended. I was assured right from the start that every possible precaution would be taken so that my son would be safe.

I have been so pleased and relieved that this was put in place and have always been completely confident that the staff have done absolutely everything in their power to help keep him safe and well. They have even been able to make him laugh!! The support has been a life saver for him. I cannot thank them enough.’’