“The thing that is nice about Leaf Complex Care is that you get this real sense of a family approach. And for us, they have become just an extension of our family. They are a unit, they stick together as a unit and you can feel that they want what’s the best for my son.“ – Maurizia, Will’s mum
This case study highlights the importance of person-centred care through the story of Will.
Will is a 24-year-old man diagnosed with Down syndrome, a learning disability, and a speech delay, who had difficulty finding consistent support due to behaviour that challenges. Before receiving support from Leaf Complex Care, Will experienced multiple care providers over eight years, negatively affecting his mental and emotional health. This case study will demonstrate the support and solutions we at Leaf Complex Care implemented to help Will achieve his goals, build his independence, and overcome the barriers raised by his conditions.
In this video, Maurizia, Will’s mother, talks openly about the challenges they faced in the past and how our support workers changed everything.
Hear their story.
Reflecting on the Past: The Story of Will
Over the years, Will and his family were left without consistent support that often didn’t last. Will displayed behaviour that challenge, which made life revolve around keeping things as calm as possible, causing his older brother to feel that his feelings were being overshadowed. As Will grew older, his mother lost confidence in taking him out due to worries about him going into crisis.
At 14, Will was given a care package with a care provider, but it did not last long, which led Will to feel like he did not matter, affecting his emotional and mental health. During this time, Will’s sedentary lifestyle led to his pulmonary embolism, ending in hospitalisation. Things weren’t heading for the better since Will, and his mum got COVID, and it was yet to be discovered that his mother had a tumour.
“I could hardly stand up or look after myself, let alone Will, so a call was made by a family member to the social worker saying that I needed support. It was at this point that Leaf Complex Care was asked to provide the package of support for Will.” – says his mother, Maurizia.
Facing the Challenges
The previous care providers did not meet Will’s needs and preferences, and the family knew the importance of having a clear Positive Behavioural Support Plan (PBS) in place. Will’s PBS plan is comprehensive and outlines their expectations and what a good support worker and provider should look like. It’s a way to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated. Sadly, previous providers had claimed they could meet Will’s needs, only to fail and cause a placement breakdown. It’s a heartbreaking experience that the family was determined not to repeat.
How Meeting Our Support Workers Changed Everything
When our support workers met Will, his mother witnessed how invested they were in him by how much of the PBS they had read and taken in. Our support workers developed a positive behaviour support plan with Will and his family and provided humanised support. With the help of Leaf Complex Care, Will’s life improved significantly. We provided him with a robust positive behaviour support plan (PBS) co-produced with Will and his behaviour specialist nurse.
“Will started on a 3:1 package of support with Leaf Complex Care, and they came on board at the most distressing time of Will’s life. It was the worst that it had been for him. It started as a rapid response package and was only meant to be for a short period to stabilise him whilst I recovered with my health. The team arrived and were calm from the very beginning, which immediately instilled confidence.” – says Maurizia.
The Impact of Leaf Complex Care's Support Workers
Our support workers in the house impacted Will’s life in many ways. He was regularly frequenting the gym, exercised more, and ate healthier. Will has become much more stable and no longer reacts to things as frequently or intensely as he used to. The harmony between the team has improved hugely, and his mother was much happier going to the house.
“When issues arise, Leaf Complex Care’s humanised support takes swift action, and Will and our family feel heard”, says Maurizia, “Will’s clinicians are a tight team and are loyal to each other and to the organisation.”
We supported Will with a care package of a consistent team of five clinicians working with him that rotate throughout the week, and they all support each other. They have been working with Will for over a year and a half, and they are now an extended part of the family.
“For me personally, their support has given me a new lease of life. Incidents have become less frequent and less intense. The social worker queried why they were no longer getting incident reports, but it was because there were none to report”. Maurizia continues, “This has enabled Will to become a more active member of his community. He can now attend family functions, whereas before, I was not confident to take him. His team comes along too, but they are respectful of his personal space – which has been a revelation to me.”
Maurizia furthers, ”Ongoing training is also key, and I love the fact that Leaf puts emphasis on this. This is embedded in the ethics of the team. This is an added assurance for families that the clinicians are up to date with training and new techniques. I have never known another provider to be so meticulous.
Leaf Complex Care is supporting Will to live his best life, and as his mum, I could not be happier.”