Mr E.

Location: Lancashire (Written by client's daughter).

My father is 78 years old, in 2013 he suffered from two major strokes in a gap of four months. This affected both sides of his body, left him paralysed on one side and meant that he lost his ability to communicate. He is currently bed-bound and fully dependent. We, as a family take full responsibility for him and he is provided with 24 hour care by ourselves and day carers.

In 2014, after being in hospital for several months, it was decided that my father would be put into a nursing home without an option of bringing him home, as we were considered incapable of taking on the responsibility of looking after him. It was heartbreaking for us as we believed we would be provided with the highest level of care and comfort within the confines of his own home. Over the course of 14 months, my father spent time in two care homes. Unfortunately the quality of care was extremely poor. This was noticeable as we visited him every day. He was consistently unwell which in part was due to the lack of personal care and eventually led him to suffer from severe chest infections.

After several attempts to bring him home that year, whilst he was admitted in hospital, we are thankful the doctors suggested we should take him home so he could spend the rest of his time around his family. My father was back with us in 2015 and gradually recovered from his infections and breathing difficulties.

The following year were were introduced to the Personal Health Budget (PHB). What attracted us to the PHB was the flexibility of the service. It gave us control in a way that let us create the best personalised care and support plan for our father. This has also enabled us to be employed by Solo Support Services to work night shifts caring for my father.

A Personal Health Budget has helped us become more involved in our fathers well being. It has allowed us to contribute in the decisions made regarding his care, giving us more choice and control over the care recieved. Being entitled to spend on his needs and what is best for him is a definite bonus. We also get the opportunity to meet different health care professionals and training instructors for help and guidance.

Having been with Solo since 2016, we have never felt any pressure and are always at ease. They deal with all aspects of the service: Completing all paperwork, Direct Payments, providing relevant training and maintaining my father's budget. Being employed by Solo has given us great experience working as a Personal Assistant and being able to work from home. It has also increased the time spent with him and has further developed the closeness of our relationship. The hard work and dedication our manager Roisin has put in to our Father's care plan is impeccable. She will resolve any problems that arise and commit to gaining the best possible outcome with regards to my father's care and budget.

Through all the ups and downs, after joining Solo we can happily say that we're grateful to be involved with such a great team. They are very supportive, starting off with Debbie and now Roisin, who is always approachable and connected.

With my father being unwell for five and a half years now, I am thankful his care is in good hands. To be able to take care of a family member in their own home is an achievement in itself. Although my father has lost his speech and understanding I am pretty certain he is aware of his surroundings and he wouldn't choose to be anywhere else.

- Been with Solo since 2016