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Living with Asperger's

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John was unable to manage his house or himself and began to hoard. John also suffers from psoriatic arthritis which affects his joints and he needs to take a variety of medication.

John reached out for many years for help and support from various organisations but in assessments he didn’t ‘fit the boxes’ for their critical or substantial care criteria and slipped through the net. Neighbours complained about him and John was threatened with eviction. He tried to commit suicide.

Kevin West, his support worker said: “John wasn’t given clear guidance on the rules of being a good tenant. Previous housing support from his landlord was also unclear and he was being asked to do things he simply wasn’t capable of. It’s the equivalent of asking your grandad to move a car when he’s got arthritis.

“We started to help John by breaking jobs down into small, manageable tasks that he was capable of understanding. We took a multi-team approach to help him clear his house and garden and organised a skip for his rubbish. We worked with a fantastic barrister who fought his case in court and he now has five years to comply with the terms of his tenancy. When John was told he could stay at his property, he was in tears, the barrister was in tears and the solictor and I had lumps in our throats too!

“We introduced John to Laura who helps him to clear a room at a time but does so much more – she has sorted out several binbags of medication that he had stored over the years and now monitors what he needs to take.”

Laura visits John three times a week and as well as cleaning and supporting him to clear his house, cooks meals and helps him shower and look after himself - even down to cutting his hair. Laura gets John involved and gives him tasks such as clearing bins and tidying the garden.

Laura, a busy mum of three, said: “John is now part of the family! I broke my leg recently but didn’t want that to mean he didn’t get the support he needs so I invited him over to mine to ensure he still had a regular meal and shower. He gets on really well with the kids and enjoys sitting watching a film with them.”

John said: “Laura gives me so much support and by going to her house it means I get out – I feel so isolated sometimes in my house, it can be like a prison.”

Kevin said: “Laura has completely changed John’s life. She plays an integral part in helping to save John’s tenancy by keeping his house in order and gives him motivation and company and a reason to get out of the house.

“John has been transformed because of Laura. She’s an angel.”