Ed's story - the right to choose
Ed lives at home with his elderly parents. He attends day services most days of the week and goes to respite once a month.
Ed has been feeling unhappy and frustrated with his home life. He says his parents don’t want to take him out to places at the weekend and he ends up watching a lot of TV alone in his room.
What Ed enjoys most is going into the local capital city and visiting the shops – he really likes browsing for second-hand books and films and treating himself to music magazines.
At home, there are also some other things he’s been finding difficult. His parents give him just a very small amount of ‘pocket-money’ each week to spend as he chooses, and he sometimes finds his dad’s bad mood quite hard to deal with.
“My mum thinks that what she gives me is a lot of money, but it’s not. My dad sometimes gets grumpy and angry and talks to me in a not very nice way.
“I don’t want to live with my parents anymore, and I’m worried that when it comes to the time to go and live with my brother and his partner, it might be the same, because they both work.
“I want to live somewhere else, where there’s other people around, and where I’ll get taken out to places more.”
Ed asked for help to change his situation. Independent advocates have been working alongside him to listen to what’s been going wrong, to hear what changes he’d like to make, and to find out what his options for alternative accommodation might be. The advocates have been able to request a Review of his Needs Assessment by the local authority. They’re supporting him to be involved in the process and explaining what the next steps might be.
“Ed’s life at home has become restricted, and understandably, he wants to do more, have his own space or home, and have more control of his finances,” says advocate Jennifer.
“Ed has been very clear that this is what he wants but is worried about how his parents will react to the news.”
The process is not fast, but Ed says he feels much happier and more settled because he’s “having help to get things sorted”.
He says he’s also learned how to be more patient about things not changing straight away.
Ed has benefited from being part of a Peer Advocacy group where they chat about what is going on. The group also gives him the opportunity to support others, whether this is through sharing his experiences or simply by making a cup of tea for someone.
Ed said: “I like being with the group as I get to talk about what is going on and how fed up I get with my dad. The Advocates have been fabulous!”