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One-page profile of a person at the end of their life – Michael
What others like and admire about me
- A man’s man
- Strength in character to keep going
- Ability to cope with the changes in his life with such good grace
- Never gives up
What’s important to me
• My late Wife Pat who died 10 years ago – I still grieve for her
• To visit Pat’s grave at least once a year
• Seeing my son Paul every week, his partner Keighley and their children, Eva & Heidi.
• Not letting myself down in life, especially when visiting my son as I sometimes make ‘inappropriate witticisms’
• Chatting to people and sharing my stories
• Living in my place and knowing that I can call staff in if I need them.
• Talking to people about my past
• Discussing religion – my religious beliefs have changed from Jewish (not strict). My family are Catholic although I am interested in the late John Lennon’s religion.
• Watching TV – This morning and X factor are favourites
• Watching rugby and football on TV –Salford City Reds are my rugby team and Bury is my football team. My son supports Manchester United so I always look out for them.
• Going to Llandudno my wife and I used to spend our annual holidays there
• Gardening, when it’s not raining.
• Going out on my own and spending time looking at gardens, bushes and flowerbeds
• I love food especially sweet things
• Going out to do the food shopping with staff – but I don’t go along if it’s raining – I can’t stand going out in the rain unless I have to!
• Having a packet of cigarettes (20 Pink Pall Mall) each day.
• To go out and try different things
• To visit garden centres
How best to support me
• Michael’s schizoaffective disorder manifests itself it by his continual talking and going off on various tangents when other people are around. This can be difficult for people he doesn’t know that he comes across when he goes out alone.
• That Michael is able to contact staff when necessary via 24 hour service provided by Community Rehab.
• Once Michael begins to tell you a story, especially if his mood is elated, he may continue for hours but acknowledges this, and he will laugh & joke with you that he does go off on a tangent, if you need to know something specific from Michael you will need to keep guiding him back to the question you are asking –. Michael acknowledges that he needs this support from you to keep to the point, and will not be offended.
• Always speak clearly to Michael face to face as he has difficulty hearing – never shout
• Michael needs support to ensure he attends all GP and physical health appointments as he often forgets or will not show staff appointment letters, staff need to ask regularly if letters have arrived – see Michael’s communication chart.
• Michael struggles with his mobility due to the swelling in his legs – see care plan for detail
• Michael requires support to bathe and also help shaving as he has difficulty using his left hand - this is due to the side effects of his medication which causes a tremor in his left hand. He uses an electronic bath aid. This support must be provided by male staff.
• Michael will stop at each garden he passes when outdoors as he loves nature but this can be hazardous in public areas as he is not always fully aware of roads.
• Be aware there is a risk that people may wonder why he is stood looking into their house. Remind Michael when he goes out alone the dangers this presents & suggest going to gardens in parks may be safer.
• Medication is to be supported on a daily basis – see MARS, but Michael takes responsibility for his lunch time medication.
• Know that if Michael continually tells jokes when you are asking him a serious question, it usually means he is anxious – see communication chart.
• Michael does not go outdoors when it is raining – if it does begin to rain Michael would head home.
• Michael has a sweet tooth and staff need to support Michael to include some healthier options as he does realise the urgency to lose weight.
• Michael sometimes put things in what may seem strange places, for example salt, pepper and vinegar in a bedside cabinet drawer, this works for him. As long as it presents no danger do not move them, Michael knows exactly where everything is.
• Remind Michael to call & let you know where he is going if he decides to go out on his own
Sixty-two-year-old Michael is described as a man’s man, with great strength of character - someone who has pushed through many difficulties in his life, an inspiration to others and someone who never gives up. Michael was a schoolteacher for many years but resigned due to problems with his mental health. Towards the end of his life, he lived in a community mental health rehabilitation scheme in Manchester.
Michael had a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and his physical health had slowly deteriorated as he had stage three kidney failure and excessive oedema in both his legs. Sadly Michael died within months of producing his one-page profile which then supported him and his family in his passing.
Michael created his one-page profile with the help of his key nurse so that when he attended appointments where people didn’t know him, they would have a better understanding of who he was as a person rather than as a patient.
Michael was also being supported to move into sheltered accommodation, and it was felt that the profile could travel with him and that important information to him would not be lost within his move.
It took Michael approximately two months to create his profile because his condition meant that he had prolonged periods where he was either too unwell or unable to work on it.
Together with his key nurse, Michael worked through the person-centred thinking tools including the relationship map, good day/bad day, important to/for, communication chart and his formal NHS assessments such as the MANCAS. The sessions always took place at his home as this is where he felt most comfortable. He also produced a story to accompany his one-page profile, and his wish was that he could leave a copy for his grandchildren after he passed away as they were both too young to understand his illness and subsequent death. It was important to him that they knew what he was really like as a person.
When Michael started his journey, no one knew that his one-page profile would be used to support him at the end of his life and that it would help him to communicate about his physical health as well as his mental health. In the weeks before his death, it meant that the people supporting him had a greater understanding of why Michael behaved in certain ways. It helped to reduce frustration for both Michael and his support team, and meant that everyone was more patient with each other. Michael and others were finally able to accept things the way they were, rather than questioning them. Importantly, it enabled Michael to have better control over his life without having to continually explain the reasoning behind some of his more unusual behavior.
Michael was able to take his story and profile to hospital when he became very unwell. Again, it helped the nursing staff see Michael as a person and not just a patient. The team was able to use the profile to see what was important to Michael and what was important for him, allowing for better communication and understanding.
Michael was a proud father and grandfather. His wife had passed away ten years earlier and this was still the source of much upset for him. Being able to express himself to his family and to leave behind a story and one-page profile that would help others feel more connected to him would have made Michael very happy – as would knowing that his story lives on and that you are reading it now.