Advocating for a client with complex needs
When the engagement worker first met Chris*, an elderly gentleman with a mixed personality disorder and a learning disability, they immediately saw he was particularly vulnerable, due to his age and his disabilities.
Having been evicted from his flat as he had been hoarding (obsessiveness being a condition of his personality disorder), he found himself homeless and sleeping rough. He appeared disheveled, and despite having had contact with a social worker previously, had been resistant to receiving support.
His hoarding nature meant he was reluctant to moving into accommodation, and the engagement worker saw that it would not be safe for him to move into accommodation that didn’t also offer support for his mental health.
Undeterred, the engagement worker set out to build trust and a relationship with Chris. By advocating for Chris and arguing that his safety was paramount given his mental health, we were able to to find him appropriate accommodation – working with the social worker - where he’d receive the mental health support he needed.
Since having moved into the supported accommodation, Chris’s health has improved. Not only is he safe and with support on hand when needed, he’s also started to take better care of himself (before, he would often neglect his self-care and cleanliness).
*names have been changed for anonymity