Sonia, in her mid-50s, lives in a village outside Canterbury. She shares her home with three other people, also supported by Affinity Trust.
Sonia was born with a genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body, and that has gradually led to her losing her sight. Despite this, she senses what’s going on around her through touch and smell.
Sonia enjoys cooking, and knows where the ingredients and utensils she needs are stored. It’s important that staff allow her to locate what she needs to cook in her own time.
With support, Sonia can also carry out other household tasks such as ironing, hanging out the laundry, and washing up and putting away in the kitchen.
The kitchen walls are adorned by pictures painted by Sonia using sponge, brush and finger techniques, with one-to-one support.
Sonia’s bedroom has been decorated to meet her needs, with light-coloured walls and dark furniture, so she can more easily sense where it is. Her support team are hoping to turn another room into a sensory space that Sonia can enjoy.
Sonia’s medical condition means she travels to London once a year for a regular check-up. For those with the condition, she is unusually long-lived. Staff have developed memory games for Sonia, in which she identifies household objects. These help slow down memory loss.
Recently Sonia has started enjoying musicals, including The Lion King in London and Hairspray in Canterbury – and has learned to say ‘popcorn’. She also enjoys swimming and massage therapy every week.
Sonia loves shopping, especially for clothes, and having her hair styled and nails painted. From 2019, as Affinity Trust has been introducing Person Centred Active Support, staff have continued to look for ways to promote Sonia’s independence.
Sonia has been supported by Affinity Trust since 2009. Support Manager Emma has seen her develop over the years, especially since she moved to supported living: “She has found her own personality and individuality which she had not shown in previous care years”.
Emma adds: “This has brought quality into Sonia’s life and she is now a lady who knows what she wants and will communicate this, becoming a strong independent woman by right.”