This week, we’d like to help a young woman called Annie who has profound physical and cognitive disabilities and is completely dependent on her mum and carers for her needs.
Everyone I spoke to about Annie talked about her spectacular sense of humour and understanding of the people around her. She loves being out and about, which was easy when she was younger. But now that she’s an adult, it’s incredibly difficult.
Annie can’t bare weight, so needs to be hoisted from her chair for any activity – whether it’s personal care, going to bed or even just sitting on the sofa.
So Annie’s social life is planned around either being at home, where she has fixed overhead hoist, or being near a Changing Place (accessible toilet) which are needed for personal care. If a Changing Place is not available or the hoist in it is broken (which apparently happens quite often), Annie has to be changed in her wheelchair. It’s uncomfortable and degrading for her, and back breaking and challenging for whoever is caring for her.
This severely limits Annie’s social life and makes life quite boring for her.
Annie attends various groups, but always has to leave early because she can’t be away from the house for more than a few hours.
Annie's mum has had to turn down many holiday opportunities, as although hotels often have rooms for people with disabilities, they do not often have hoists. Annie can’t even sit on the sofa with everyone when she visits family members.
A mobile hoist would change Annie’s life. She could go out for the day without any worry, she could go on holiday, she could stay for her entire group sessions and she would be able to regain some freedom and normality to her life.
Annie was nominated by a doctor and charity worker, who was a volunteer carer for Annie and stayed close with her ever since. She said: “I met Annie when I was 16. She was only 5 years old. I had no friends at the time and Annie's mum took me on as a volunteer to look after her. She completely changed my outlook on life and was actually the reason I chose to do the work I do."
With your help, we would like to buy Annie the hoist she needs.