A senior Caregiver from at-home care provider Home Instead in St. Albans has used his own passion for swimming to help his client, Ciaran Kiely who is 23 and has Cerebral Palsy, to swim unaided for the first time.
Ciaran, aged 23, requires full time care and is confined to a wheelchair. He has been enjoying his weekly hydrotherapy sessions at Keech Hospice for over two years but when Caregiver Andy Court began accompanying him on the visits he realised that Ciaran had the potential to achieve much more. Andy explains: “Through having fun in the pool Ciaran had already gained some confidence in the water but once we applied a more constructive approach based on the training I myself had been given as a youngster I was able to help him to swim unaided within 3 or 4 sessions. This is a marvellous achievement for Ciaran who can now swim two or three widths of the pool.”
Andy is a trained nurse and has always worked in the care sector. He joined Home Instead last year and is enjoying the variety of work that he is undertaking. Andy spends a couple of lengthy periods with Ciaran during the week and has been able to build up a trusting relationship with him. Andy continues:
“I think that was the key to getting him swimming. Ciaran knows and trusts me and that helps in any teaching situation. I trained very seriously as a swimmer when I was young and then became involved in teaching pre-school children. You have to be able to judge how far you can safely push someone to achieve their goals and they need to have confidence in you.”
Cerebral palsy causes motor function malfunction and swimming has proved to be a positive therapy for those affected as the water provides relief from muscle stiffness and pain, whilst the buoyancy often alleviates the stress caused by gravity. Swimming also helps with coordination and muscle strength.
Home Instead are rapidly building a reputation as one of the UK’s leading care companies. Their unique service is tailored to the needs of individual clients, like those of Ciaran, and ranges from companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, post-discharge care, medication reminders, shopping and errands. And is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To contact Home Instead in St Albans, call 01727 895941 or visit www.homeinstead.co.uk.