A Community Advocacy Story: James and Sam
James is aged 76, and has been diagnosed with dementia.
Whilst in hospital, he was referred to Cloverleaf, and Sam, an advocate, went out to visit him. James told Sam that he wanted to separate from his wife, Linda, and live independently from her. He also told Sam that Linda was taking his money, and he wanted more control over his finances. Sam told James that he would need to tell the safeguarding team about his worries around Linda taking his money. James agreed Sam could do this.
Sam and James discussed what James wanted to say at his ward round, and Sam wrote everything down. James was able to use what Sam wrote to tell his care team what he wanted. Initially his care team were concerned that James was making a decision due to his dementia - Sam helped James communicate that this was not the case. James was discharged to a respite care home, to give him time decide if he would like to live independently in sheltered housing or extra-care housing.
Sam visited James to discuss what he wanted and help him tell his social worker. The social worker agreed to help James move into sheltered housing of his choice.
Sam also helped James to talk to his social worker about Linda and his money, and supported him to talk to the bank about removing her name from their joint bank accounts.
Sam also spoke to James about planning for his future, including options around Power of Attorney should James be unable to make decisions for himself - about finances or his health and welfare - in the future. James also felt that having 4 calls a day from care workers was too much, so Sam helped him negotiate this down to 3 calls per day. As a result of the advocacy support from Sam, James is now living happily in sheltered accommodation, is no longer worried about his money and feels more in control of his life.