Shifting Times

In just under two weeks time Poppy’s moving out of the castle and into a new house with Zoë and two other friends. Not having a flatmate will mean making some adjustments to my routine, and one big change will be that I’ll be here on my own for a lot more time.

Since my ‘ticcing fits’ started happening every day, any time I spend alone at the castle always has to be carefully planned and managed. There has to be someone very nearby and on call if I need them, I don’t move about when I’m on my own – I stay on the sofa or on my bed where it’s soft, I have an emergency alarm which links to an external call centre, and I make sure I’m never alone for very long.

I have a personal budget from Social Services that provides me with a great deal of support at home, and Access to Work provides support while I’m at work. But there are still 45 hours every week for which I have to find support or at least someone to be on call. With Poppy not living here anymore it’s going to make covering this time trickier.

After careful consideration I’m changing the time of the daily visits from my agency carer. Until now these have always been in the morning for helping me get up, washed, dressed, and ready for work. I’ve discussed this change with all my night-time support workers and they’ve each agreed to stay longer in the morning voluntarily to help me get ready.

This has allowed me move the visit from my agency carer to the evening, and I’ve timed it so it’ll be half way between when my Access to Work support worker leaves and my night-time support worker arrives. This reduces the time I’m on my own and means I’ll have someone to help me with dinner.

I haven’t started tackling the weekends yet – one step at a time.

This morning was the first under the new regime and it worked well, with Zoë helping me get ready and have breakfast. But I’m glad I’m still going to have a couple of weeks to get used to the new plan before Poppy leaves.

Organising my support schedule has been an on-going task for the last eighteen months, and not having Poppy about will make it more complicated. But I’ve always tried not to rely on her too heavily so I’m confident that once I’m in the swing of it everything will work out.

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